Online Retail Sector Faces Its Worst Crisis Ever
Aside from travel, e-commerce in the U.S. has been on perhaps the fastest growth track of any retail channel throughout this decade. But now, the online industry faces its worst crisis ever, according to a recent Forrester Research forecast covering 2008 to 2013.
E-commerce growth last year was the slowest it has ever been, the report says. For many companies, it was the first year of negative year-over-year sales. What's more, "that poor momentum promises to carry through 2009, as the economy has yet to exhibit signs of recovery," according to a statement from the report.
Forrester's most recent five-year forecast includes the following findings:
- online sales grew 13 percent to $141.3 billion in 2008;
- online sales will grow 11 percent to $156 billion in 2009, which is less than the 15 percent growth Forrester previously had predicted for this year;
- online sales in 2010 will reach $176.9 billion, representing 13 percent growth;
- online sales will grow just 10 percent in 2011, 9 percent in 2012 and 8 percent in 2013; and
- while the online channel made up 5 percent of total retail sales in 2008, it will comprise 6 percent in 2009 and 2010, 7 percent in 2011, and 8 percent of overall sales in 2012 and 2013.