When working at a retail store a couple of years ago, I was amazed when my boss informed me that in the near future my job would be non-existent. Instead, our jobs would be replaced with desks and headsets, working with customers from the comforts of an office instead of in store. He explained that there would be very little face to face contact with customers due to the fact that more and more customers were choosing the convenience of online shopping. At the time, I’m not sure I believed him.
It’s interesting to note that the number of online shoppers is expected to grow from 137 million to 175 million by the end of 2016. And as the number of online users grows, so will eCommerce. In 2012, eCommerce spending in the United States amounted to 231 billion dollars and is expected to reach 262 billion this year, over a 7% increase. Not only that, but by 2017, eCommerce sales are expected to reach 370 billion dollars. These astounding numbers are due to the fact that online shopping can provide a more efficient and convenient way for consumers to shop. It is also becoming easier to access, with the rise of mobile and tablet use, effectively connecting web and mobile.
While in the past, the majority of purchases revolved around buying books, consumers are now turning their attention to larger and more expensive products. Almost 10% of eCommerce sales came from autos and parts, and almost 8% came from furniture and home furnishings. Buyers are becoming more experienced online, resulting in more comfort when buying more expensive products. Shipping is no longer an obstacle, and more options are arriving to keep up with the increase in demand. Bigger products can be shipped virtually anywhere in the country, regardless of size. This is leading to more products being available via online shopping, allowing eCommerce to continue to grow.
Here are a couple more mind-blowing statistics involving eCommerce:
- Cyber Monday resulted in 1.47 billion dollars of online sales.
- In 2017, eCommerce is expected to account for 10% of all retail sales in the United States.
- Retail shopping websites earned 186.2 billion dollars in 2012 (more revenue than travel and flight booking websites).
Online shopping continues to see massive growth in both sales volume and breadth of products, but when will it slow? We’d love to hear what you think!