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Double-digit growth for online retail in US & W. Europe

Double-digit growth over the next five years? We’ll take it, particularly in the wake of a grueling recession.

This according to Forrester, which is predicting that by 2014 US online retail will grow at a 10 percent compound annual growth rate  to reach nearly $249 billion. Correspondingly, the major Western European nations will grow at an 11 percent CAGR, hitting €114 billion in five years’ time.

The report cautions that retailer must improve the multichannel experience in order to satisfy consumer demand, particularly in the US where the survey found that 82 percent of online consumers are satisfied with buying experiences that began and ended in a store,but their satisfaction drops to 61 percent when they began their research online and subsequently bought in a store.

Europe, meanwhile, is a much more fragmented market. “There is a clear divide between the countries of Northern and Southern Europe regarding online retail adoption,” said Forrester Research VP and Research Director Patti Freeman Evans. “While nearly half of UK residents regularly make a purchase online, a mere 10 percent of online Spaniards and 11 percent of online Italians do so today. Still, with compound annual growth rates approaching 20 percent in markets like Spain, emerging European ecommerce markets are poised for a vigorous period of growth.”

Additional findings include:

US online retail forecast

•    Online shopping will account for 8 percent of total retail sales by 2014.
•    Three product categories dominate online retail: apparel, footwear, and accessories; consumer electronics; and consumer hardware, software, and peripherals. Together, these represent over 40 percent of total online retail sales.
•    By 2014, 53 percent of total retail sales will be influenced by ecommerce as consumers increasingly use the web to research before purchasing.

Western European online retail forecast

•    Increased online tenure, improved access, and greater retailer promotion will drive the number of online shoppers in Europe from 141 million in 2009 to 190 million by 2014. Average spend per online shopper will rise from €483 in 2009 to €601 in 2014.
•    Books, event tickets, and clothing are the top three categories purchased online in the majority of Western Europe.
•    Among the three largest EU markets, online retail will grow at a 10 percent CAGR over the next five years in the UK; 9 percent in Germany; and 13 percent in France.

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