US Offline Retail Sales to Surpass $4.2 Trillion By 2028, Says Forrester
Forrester Research, a leading market research company, has recently released its highly anticipated report titled "US Online Retail Forecast, 2023 To 2028," shedding light on the future of both online and offline retail sales in the United States. The study challenges the notion that traditional brick-and-mortar stores are losing their significance, revealing a promising outlook for both offline and online retail sectors.
The report predicts that 2023 will mark a significant milestone for the US retail industry, with both offline and online sales reaching record levels. Despite the surge of e-commerce in recent years, Forrester emphasizes that traditional brick-and-mortar stores are far from being considered "dead."
Offline Retail Sales Surge:
Forrester's research highlights the impressive growth trends in offline retail sales. In 2022, US offline retail sales reached an all-time high of $3.6 trillion (excluding automotive and gasoline sales). Driven by decades-high inflation, the report forecasts US offline retail sales to surge to $4.2 trillion by 2028, capturing an estimated 72% share of the market.
The turning point for offline retail came in 2021, as the sector experienced a remarkable year-over-year (YoY) growth rate of 14%, primarily fueled by consumers returning to physical stores when COVID-19 restrictions were eased. This momentum continued into 2022, with offline retail sales growing by an impressive 6% YoY, surpassing pre-pandemic levels. Consumers were enticed by attractive deals and sought tangible experiences, product comparison, and personalized assistance, all of which contributed to the sector's resurgence.
According to Forrester's predictions, offline retail sales growth rates are expected to stabilize at pre-COVID levels starting from 2023. Core advantages such as immediate gratification, social interaction, and personalized assistance are expected to remain key drivers for offline retail sales in the coming years. For instance, a significant portion of US consumers surveyed by Forrester expressed their enjoyment of physically shopping in stores, citing the desire to socialize and experience products in person.
Click-and-Collect Sales to Soar:
In addition to the revival of offline retail, Forrester's report forecasts a surge in click-and-collect sales for the retail industry. Click-and-collect sales, which encompass "buy online, pick up in the store" and curbside pickup, are projected to exceed $100 billion in 2023. Retailers have been heavily investing in improving physical and technological infrastructure to enhance the click-and-collect experience for consumers.
Forrester predicts that click-and-collect sales will double by 2028, surpassing $200 billion, and account for 12% of the total US online retail sales that year. This growth is attributed to the convenience and time-saving benefits offered to consumers and the cost-effectiveness of order fulfillment for retailers. Moreover, click-and-collect serves as a catalyst for fostering strong customer relationships, thereby contributing to increased customer loyalty.
Overall, Forrester's US Online Retail Forecast, 2023 To 2028, provides valuable insights into the promising future of both offline and online retail sales in the United States. The report dispels the notion of the demise of physical stores, emphasizing the enduring appeal of tangible experiences and social interaction in driving offline retail sales growth. Additionally, the surge in click-and-collect sales signifies the increasing integration of digital and physical elements in the retail landscape, offering convenience and cost-effectiveness for both retailers and consumers alike.
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