E-commerce is big. Really big. Over the past two years, it’s grown from being an early 90’s fascination into giving brick and mortar retailers a real run for their money. A recent Forbes report predicts that the e-commerce industry will surpass a $2 trillion annual haul in 2017. A related eMarketer report makes a bolder forecast of $4 trillion in retail e-commerce sales by 2020, accounting for 14.6% of all consumer retail spending. A measured 50% five-year growth, when comparing both of these forecasts, gives us a real idea of the juggernaut that this industry – one being fed by emerging technology – has become.
It’s e-commerce statistics such as these that really should open our eyes. About 71% of consumers are shopping online to find the best price, a process that is commonly now referred to as “showrooming” (checking your smartphone for the best price when in a brick and mortar store), and “webrooming” (comparing multiple e-commerce stores to find the lowest price).
According to Business Insider, 50% of shoppers have made more than one purchase in the past year. Tally these numbers up, and technology has helped 198 million shoppers in the U.S. buy something online over the past 12 months. That’s more than 200 million people shopping online, or about two-thirds of the entire U.S. population.