Digital to Influence 58% of Retail Spending by 2023

April Davis By April Davis | 08 Jan 2019

In the US, more than half of retail sales are set to be influenced by digital shopping channels as early as 2023.

According to Satish Meena, a senior forecast analyst for Forrester Research, digital will influence 58 percent of retail sales within the next four years. He has reportedly reached this conclusion based on the assumption that e-commerce will account for 15 percent of all retail sales in the US in 2019, with digital shopping platforms also influencing 36 percent of offline sales. He believes the increasing popularity of smartphones, particularly within the online retail realm, will play a large role in this boost to the digital economy.

“Roughly 88 percent of US online adults use a smartphone, 45 percent use a smartphone at least once a month to research products before making a purchase and 28 percent use a smartphone at least once a month to purchase physical products,” the report, titled Forrester Analytics: Digital-Influenced Retail Sales Forecast, 2018 to 2023, says.

Research into the role of smartphones in the US e-commerce industry has also revealed that the share of retail sales coming from smartphones in Q3 grew by 14 percent when compared to the same period in 2017. According to adtech firm Criteo, mobile transactions accounted for 40 percent of online sales in North America. However, smartphone purchases were even more popular in the Asia-Pacific region, where 52 percent of purchases were made from a mobile device.

Criteo also claims that bricks-and-mortar retailers that have an online presence also benefit from this shift in consumer shopping behaviour, as omnichannel shoppers accounted for 27 percent of all sales, despite only representing seven percent of total online shoppers for the year. Online retailers also saw a boost in in-app purchases for the year, with 31 percent of transactions coming from a mobile app, while bricks-and-mortar retailers are reportedly missing out on vital sales opportunities through their own mobile apps, as only 21 percent of transactions for physical retailers were generated from in-app transactions. It’s believed this lower number indicates that retailers aren’t fully capitalising on the opportunity to integrate their in-app experiences before, during, and after customers visit their physical shopfronts.

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