A new report from Forrester has predicted that web-influenced retail sales will reach $1.8 trillion by 2017, up from $1.2 trillion in 2012. The research reveals that the categories that will be most influenced by internet research in the next five years will be grocery, apparel, home improvement and consumer electronics.
The Forrester Report “US Cross-Channel Retail Forecast 2012-2017” expects the web’s influence on retail to significantly increase in the next five years, with the Internet influencing more than half of all retail purchases by 2017.
The report also forecasts that direct eCommerce sales – including sales from mobile devices and tablets – will reach $370 billion in the next five years, accounting for just over 10% of total retail sales.
As more and more shoppers choose to visit an eCommerce website prior to visiting a store to conduct research, or will have a smartphone in hand whilst in a physical store, the report states that retailers need to seriously consider the implications of this cross-channel influence for their businesses.
Forrester analyst and author of the report Sucharita Mulpuru expects this cross-channel influence to affect every retail category, but has predicted that some sectors will be most impacted than others: grocery, apparel and accessories, home improvement and consumer electronics are expected to generate $1.1 trillion of the $1.8 trillion in cross-channel sales.
The findings of this report again underline the importance of retailers in delivering an integrated omnichannel offering, with consistency in product assortment, price and service across all channels. That means enabling today’s shopper to transition effortlessly from smartphone to personal computer to physical store in their quest for the best product, service, price and promotion.
As the divisions between online and bricks and mortar continue to blur, retailers – including grocers – need to adapt their strategies in order to attract today’s omnichannel and price savvy shopper. With more and more of us going online to check prices before shopping, staying price competitive and offering the best value deals is critical for all retailers.
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