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The Shipwire Blog/2009 E-commerce growth was 11%; Estimate is $250B by 2014

2009 E-commerce growth was 11%; Estimate is $250B by 2014

Forrester Research just posted a couple updated research reports that give the size of the e-commerce market for the U.S.A. and for Western Europe. TechCrunch actually posted more data and a couple graphs about it that you can’t find at Forrester .

Some of the more interesting thoughts by Forrester for the U.S. Market (Estimates exclude online sales of autos, travel, and prescription drugs):

  • E-commerce will keep growing at a 10 percent CAGR through 2014.
  • U.S. E-commerce will hit almost $250 billion in 2014 (up from $155 billion in 2009)
  • The best news is that in 2009 Forrester estimates that online retail sales were up 11 percent, compared to 2.5 percent for all retail sales.
  • e-commerce sales will represent 8 percent of all retail sales in the U.S. by 2014, up from 6 percent in 2009
  • In 2009, 154 million people in the U.S. bought something online, or 67 percent of the online population (4 percent more than in 2008)
  • Three product categories (computers, apparel, and consumer electronics) represented more than 44 percent of online sales($67.6 billion) ┬áin 2009

When it comes to Western Europe, Forrester is thinking that it will grow a bit faster (11%) and go from $93 billion (68 billion Euros) in 2009 to $156 billion (114.5 billion Euros) in 2014.

Forrester had some HUGE numbers in another part of their forecast for “web-influenced” sales. Forrester thinks that $917B of retail sales last year were Web-influenced and that will grow to $1.4T worth of in-store sales by 2014. That is 42% of total retail sales going to 52%. I’m not particularly sure what the actual definition by Forrester is for “Web-influenced” or how they measured that particular number. I’m betting that Forrester is basically saying that “web influenced” buyers looked online before they bought the item from a physical location. Personally, I would have rather seen a number for a growing trend and something that Walmart has been particularly pushing “Buy Online and Pickup InStore”. I think that would have been a nice middle ground between E-commerce and the impossible to measure “Web-influenced”

Other thoughts on these Forrester numbers:

  • It would have been nice to see Q4 broken out from the rest. Not sure if that is in their report, which Shipwire has not yet bought.
  • International shipping is a large percentage of shipping. What that actually means is that the local purchasing behavior of say Western Europe is actually in the U.S. numbers. International shipping means the product likely wasn’t available in the local market so the buyer had to go overseas and deal with the hassles of international shipping. As services like Shipwire make it easy for small sellers to eliminate international shipping costs you can bet that international shipping will actually decrease as a Western European sale from a U.S. seller will actually be shipped from Western Europe.
  • It would be nice to see what % of e-commerce sales was impacted by shipping discounts like “Fast and Free Shipping”.

Here are all the links:


Forrester USA E-commerce Forecast

Forrester Western Europe E-commerce Forecast


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