According to a report by Forrester Research analyst Sucharita Mulpuru, reported in Internet Retailer, online shoppers in the United States will spend $327 billion in 2016, up 45% from $226 billion this year and 62% from $202 billion in 2011. In 2016, e-retail will account for 9% of total retail sales according to the report.
The steady growth in the number of web shoppers is helping to boost e-commerce sales. Forrester says that 192 million U.S. consumers will shop online in 2016, up 15% from 167 million in 2012. But the bigger factor in driving e-commerce growth is that each shopper will spend more on average, the report says. U.S. consumers in 2016 will each spend an average of $1,738 online, up 44% from $1,207 in 2012.
Other factors contributing to the growth of e-commerce cited in the report include:
• Aggressive merchandising and discounting from flash sale and daily deal retailers
• More online loyalty programs, including shipping clubs such as Amazon Prime that offer free two-day shipping for a $79 annual fee. The report says that 12% of online shoppers belonged to such programs in 2011, up from 9% in 2010. Of those consumers who belonged to such a program last year, 61% said they bought from the retailer that operated the program
• The increasing popularity of smartphones and tablet computers among consumers, which leads them to spend more time online, including shopping. Mulpuru suggests that “… the tablet shopping experience… likely encourages shoppers to purchase more products in an impulse fashion.”
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