The retail sector has seen a shift in almost every aspect over the years right from traditional to in store shopping to today’s borderless e-commerce and social commerce led shopping, cash payments to cashless payments and EMIs and physical shelf space to online shelf visibility.
With pandemic catalysing the disruption in the sector, retailers have had to adapt to a remote, digital first approach to keep businesses afloat. This digital first trend continues to gain momentum. According to Forbes, from July to September 2022, U.S. e-commerce sales have hit almost $266 billion, which is said to be the highest quarterly revenue in the history of retail.
Similarly, the share of e-commerce in global retail is experiencing a significant growth with an estimate of approximately 20.8% online retail sales by 2023. This is further expected to growth by 2026 with an estimate of 24% of online retail sales. Parallel to this, the worldwide e-commerce market is forecasted to reach a value of $6.3 trillion in 2023.
Dominating the retail landscape in 2023 is e-commerce with its convenience, accessibility and wide range of product offerings. This has compelled many traditional retailers to turn to omnichannel approach, integrating physical stores with online platforms for a seamless consumer experience. Furthermore, personalization of products to meet customer needs has reached new heights, with advanced analytics and AI delivering tailored recommendations and immersive experiences through AR and VR technologies. Future technology developments are expected to involve mainstream adoption of AR/VR, voice-activated shopping, IoT integration, and blockchain for increased transparency. Sustainability too is becoming an integral part of retail strategies with companies taking steps to mitigate the environmental impact of shopping by implementing practices such as minimal packaging, carbon neutral shipping and promoting products with less environmental impact.
Infact, various reports and projections predict global e-commerce market to scale new heights, spurred by advancements in technology, increased internet penetration and the growing consumer preference for convenience. Although e-commerce was primarily associated with the purchase of non-perishable goods such as books, electronics and apparel a few years back, the market has now expanded to include a wide range of product categories, including groceries, furniture and even automobiles, due to improvements in logistics, supply chain management and last-mile delivery.
Rise in the number of mobile devices and the increasing popularity of mobile shopping apps have further fuelled the growth of e-commerce. By the end of this year, it's estimated that 73% of e-commerce sales will occur via mobile devices, up from 58% in 2021. The omnipresence of smartphones and the convenience they offer has made them a preferred shopping tool for consumers worldwide.
The future of e-commerce looks vibrant and robust as it is projected that by 2025, the global e-commerce market will exceed $8 trillion, owing to the continued potential for growth and innovation.