E-Commerce Sales to Rise 13% in 2013 

March 14, 2013

Online retail sales will increase 13 percent to $262 billion this year from $231 billion in 2012, according to a new report from Forrester Research. The market research and consulting firm also expects e-commerce sales to grow at a higher rate than retail sales at physical locations over the next five years, reaching $370 billion by 2017.

Growth is being driven by traditional retailers emphasizing “omnichannel” efforts and the “blistering pace of mobile device adoption,” the company said in its report.

“Consumers are more likely to use their phones not only to research purchases—both to learn about products and store options—but also to find the best price for a given item,” the report said. “But it’s not just phones that drive retail web traffic; virtually all retailers report that traffic to their sites from tablets spikes during evening prime-time hours, when consumers are in a leisure state of mind. This also suggests incremental web sessions and conversions, because web retail traditionally spikes not in the evening, but during business hours.”

The report also indicated that growth is not coming from first-time e-commerce users. Rather, those who have shopped online in the past are becoming more comfortable with the practice and making more e-commerce purchases.