Things will be bright for online retailers in the U.S. and in Europe through the next five years, according to market watchers, who say online sales will grow at double-digit rates each year, through 2015, as consumers increasingly make their purchases on the Web.
Online sales in the U.S. and in Western Europe are forecast to grow at a rate of 10 percent compounded annually from 2010 to 2015. This means that in 2015, sales in the U.S. will reach $279 billion and 134 pounds in Europe as consumers become more comfortable shopping online, notes independent researcher Forrester Research.
Analysts at eMarketer project that online sales in the U.S. will reach $188 billion by the end of this year—a 13.7 percent increase compared to last year, when online sales increased by 14.8 percent.
"The online retail market in both the U.S. and Western Europe remains strong despite the challenging economy," says Patti Freeman Evans, Forrester's vice president and research director. "In fact, with consumers purchasing behavior returning to normal, U.S. Web sales in 2010 actually accelerated over 2009 compared with the prior year."
In Europe, more new online shoppers, a higher per-capita demand on online goods and offline stores beginning to open up their own Web stores helped increase sales in 2010. And although the number of new online shoppers is expected to level off in the coming years, by 2015 an estimated 68 percent of European adults who use the Internet are expected to buy online. In Northern Europe, 80 percent or more of Internet users ages 18 and above are expected to buy online, Forrester Research notes.
In the U.S., deal sites like Groupon and Woot, as well as mobile shopping apps have helped "fuel" growth, and will continue to do so, says Jeffrey Grau, principal analyst for eMarketer.
"Both opportunities are expected to have strong sales growth over the next five years," he adds.
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Auctiva staff writers constantly monitor trends and best practices of those selling on eBay and elsewhere online. They attend relevant training seminars and trade shows and regularly discuss the market with PowerSellers and other market experts.