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Internet Sales to Leave Physical Stores in the Dust

Official says online sales will 'outpace' brick-and-mortar shops.

Major retailers investing in multichannel selling, and the rising popularity of tablets and smartphones, will help Internet sales spike—and outpace—physical stores in the coming years.

A Forrester Research study finds that online sales in the U.S. will hit $262 billion this year—a 13.4-percent increase compared to 2012. By 2017, that total will jump to $370 billion—a compound annual growth rate of 10 percent.

Europe is also expected to see a spike in online sales, as Internet sales there are expected to reach 191 euros by 2017—a 10.5-percent compound annual growth rate compared to this year, when sales are projected to reach 128 billion euros, the study finds.

These growth rates are “strong,” says Sucharita Mulpuru, the author of the study.

Brick-and-mortar shops are not expected to see such surges. In fact, “online retailers’ growth will outpace that of physical stores,” she adds.

In the U.S., three shopping categories will benefit the most from the expected spike, Mulpuru reports. She says apparel, accessories and electronics will “capture over one-third” of online total sales.

About the author

Olga Munoz
Olga Munoz is editor of In addition to writing news and feature articles about e-commerce, selling trends, online marketing and other topics of interest to online sellers, Olga manages the site's social media efforts. A journalism graduate of Chico State, Olga says her favorite part of being a journalist is learning interesting facts that help put stories into perspective, attending industry events and meeting interesting people "that leave you smiling, even in tough situations." Opinions expressed here may not be shared by The Online Seller and/or its principals.

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