Over the next five years e-commerce will grow at a faster rate in Europe than in the United States. Forrester Research is predicting a rise of 70% by 2017 in Europa, compared to ‘only’ 60% in the United States. This discrepancy is mainly due to the famous 'handicap of a head start'.
From 112 to 191 billion euro
According to Forrester online retail spending in Europa will amount to 191 billion euro by 2017, compared to 112 billion euro last year. This would suggest a total rise of 70% and an annual growth of 11%.
If so, Europe will make up some ground on the US, where Forrester predicts an annual growth of approximately 9%. Online sales in the US will rise from 178 billion euro to 286 billion euro in 2017. At the moment e-commerce brings in about 8% of total retail sales in the United States, by 2017 that should be well over 10%.
The United Kingdom still is and will remain the country where online retail has made the biggest progress (see graph): today online sales have a market share of 13% and Forrester predicts a rise to 15% by 2017. Italian and Spanish e-commerce are at the back of the line, with only 2% of total retail sales.
The research agency has a double explanation for this worldwide “e-commerce boost”: on the one hand an ever growing number of smartphones and tablets (more and more people have one or both and those people are using their devices to shop online during their spare time) and on the other hand you have a growing number of retailers that opt for a “omni-channel retail experience”.
Forrester also points out that the growth of e-commerce will come from current customers that will shop more online and that will buy more expensive products, and less from new customers.