E-Commerce Could Account For 13% Of Retail Sales By 2020

Reports show that by 2020, retail sales will make up 13% of global retail, or $3.8 trillion out of a total global market of almost $30 trillion, reports Retail Dive. This is according to research by Juniper Research, a digital commerce and fintech consulting firm based in England.

The report was titled, “Mobile & Online Remote Payments for Digital & Physical Goods: Opportunities & Forecasts 2018-2022.” It made note that many retailers are closing up stores while most are now using apps and online channels to augment offline spend.”

Out of the 18 leaders in the e-commerce leaders Juniper identified, the top three retailers were The Home Depot and U.K. department stores John Lewis and Sainsbury’s.

Juniper made clear that brick-and-mortar stand-bys make up many of the e-commerce leaders.

“Some retailers, particularly those with a strong dependency on grocery, believe that moving spend to online was counterproductive, given the high levels of marginal costs and the perception of reduced customer loyalty,” said Windsor Holden, the report author, in a statement. “However, development of a successful, integrated omnichannel offering can ultimately enhance loyalty levels and increase consumer-spend levels.”

The authors noted that Walmart has also demonstrated a “commitment to facilitating an integrated experience.”

Walmart’s annual sales of roughly $480 billion are derived from all channels, but brick and mortar sales make up the lion’s share of these. Walmart is tuned into the significance of the digital world, experimenting with initiatives such as its purchase of new e-commerce brands, and its Store No 8, an innovation project. Its experiments have included pushes into VR/AR and AI.

Brendan Witcher, a retail analyst, warns companies that flashy VR-type technologies can be a distraction, however.

“[Retailers] fail to understand that consumers are not that complex — they have basic needs,” Witcher said. “Target came out with this announcement last year, that they would stop working on robots and return to their core. That was the smartest thing they did. Retailers have to remember that at the core they still have to be good retailers.”