Study: Retailers’ omnichannel investments drive online sales by 16%

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Study: Retailers’ omnichannel investments drive online sales by 16%

By Deena M. Amato-McCoy - 02/20/2018
Brick-and-mortar retailers' increased investments in omnichannel platforms are driving up the overall growth of online sales.

E-commerce retail sales increased by 16% to $453.5 billion in 2017, accounting for 8.9% of total retail sales for the year, according to a U.S. Census Bureau report. (E-commerce retail sales include both the revenue of pure-play "e-tailers" and the online sales of primarily brick-and-mortar brands.)

While pure-play e-retailers are contributing this increase, this growth was due in large part to brick-and-mortar retailers' active investment in omnichannel platforms — a move that confirms that omnichannel remains the key to success for all retail brands, the study reported.

In addition to strong online growth, in-store sales continued to increase at a healthy clip last year. Physical store retail sales grew 3.4% in 2017—the highest growth rate since 2012 and a strong indicator that U.S. consumers continue to shop in-store, the report revealed.

Although growth rates (in percentage terms) are significantly higher for e-commerce than physical store sales, in-store sales contribute substantially more to overall retail growth than online sales. In-store revenue increased by $152.7 billion in 2017, compared with a $62.5 billion increase for e-commerce.



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