Online retail is expected to experience robust growth in the next four years as consumers increasingly buy goods on the Web, rather than at their local shopping malls.
In separate reports tracking the growth of U.S. and European e-commerce, Forrester Research Inc. forecasts average growth of 10 percent a year through 2015. The U.S. market should reach $279 billion by 2015, up from $176 billion in 2010, while the European market should reach 134 billion Euros, up from 81 billion Euros in 2010, according to the reports, which measure business-to-consumer sales excluding travel and financial services.
"The online retail market in both the U.S. and Western Europe remains strong, despite the challenging economy," says Forrester Vice President and Research Director Patti Freeman Evans. "In fact, with consumer purchasing behavior returning to normal, U.S. Web sales in 2010 actually accelerated over 2009 compared with the prior year, growing 12.6 percent."
In Western Europe—which grew 18 percent in 2010—online retail growth was fueled by first-time online shoppers and higher average spending per customer, as well as established brick-and-mortar retailers entering the Web space, she notes. Growth is expected to continue at a rate of 13 percent in 2011 and then level off as the market matures.
Meanwhile, U.S. retailers are helping to drive online growth by adapting to new business models, such as flash sales and group buying, as well as improving their online product selection, according to Forrester.
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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.