E-commerce sales for all channels in the US are forecast to continue growing in the next few years although rates could plateau as market adoption is seen to already peak.
Freedonia Focus Reports in its recent study "E-Commerce: United States" said e-commerce would advance 9.6% annually in nominal dollars through 2024 and retailers will benefit from the continued popularity of shopping from home, as well as increasing disposable personal income levels and consumer access to credit.
Brick-and-mortar retailers will also continue to use e-commerce to augment sales and give consumers the option of picking up or returning items at stores, representing ongoing efforts to perfect their omnichannel strategies.
Increase in sales through mobile
Sales originating from mobile devices — sometimes called "m-commerce" — are also projected to climb at an above-average pace due to increasing popularity and the convenience of shopping from a mobile phone, the report said.
"However, sales are expected to slow from historical rates as e-commerce advances along the adoption curve," it added.
Freedonia — a division of MarketResearch.com — noted that older consumers, who may be less comfortable using internet shopping methods, and those without reliable internet access will also limit the number of potential e-commerce shoppers.
"The rapid spread of COVID-19 in the US is expected to have mixed effects for e-commerce firms. Social distancing, stay-at-home orders, and consumer fear of contracting the virus will cause more customers to turn to e-commerce to acquire household staples, temporarily raising e-commerce's share of retail sales."
"However, deteriorating economic conditions will crimp discretionary spending overall, offsetting gains."
Food and beverage orders to pick up
The research further states that segments are expected to see unequal impacts from the pandemic: purchases of electronics and appliances are expected to slow during the pandemic as consumer confidence and incomes drop and households delay major purchases, but revenues attributable to online ordering of food and beverages will continue to skyrocket.
For the purposes of this report, e-commerce refers to sales arranged over the internet, including mobile. Payment may or may not be made via the internet.