10% of Retail Purchases Online in Five Years

According to a new report from Forrester Research, reported by Amy Dusto, InternetRetailer, by 2017, 60% of all U.S. retail sales will involve the Internet either as a direct e-commerce transaction or as part of shopper’s research on a laptop or mobile device. 10.3% of total retail sales in the U.S. in five years will be online purchases, or $370 billion in web sales compared to $3.6 trillion in total retail sales, says the report.

Last year, Ecommerce accounted for 5.2% of total retail spending in the United States, according to U.S. Commerce Department figures that include items such as gasoline and restaurant meals. And in 2012, 46% of total U.S. retail sales were either transacted directly or influenced by Internet research on PCs, smartphones and tablets.

Sucharita Mulpuru, Forrester analyst and author of the report, says  “… driving… e-retailing growth… smartphone ownership in the United States along with retailers’ investments in Ecommerce and… mobile coupons… By the end of 2013… 150 million of the country’s population of 317 million will be regular mobile Internet users… “

Categories most influenced by Internet research in five years will be grocery, apparel and accessories, home improvement and consumer electronics through mobile activity like reading customer reviews while in the aisle, the report says. Those categories will account for $1.1 trillion of the $1.8 trillion total web-influenced retail sales predicted for 2017.

Mulpuru says “…consumers in virtually all categories touch the web during some part of their purchase journey… web sales… strongest in categories where consumers don’t need to touch the products or have them immediately… ” shoppers buy consumer electronics online, but more often buy grocery and home improvement items in stores… but they research those products online more frequently than consumer electronics… “

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