FTI Consulting Projects U.S. Online Retail Sales Growth to Increase 25% in 2020
Revised Forecast Model Expects Online Retail Sales of $748 Billion in 2020, Compared to $598 Billion in 2019
The Retail & Consumer Products practice at
Months of stay-at-home orders and the closures of non-essential businesses have altered consumer habits and the shopping landscape, with online grocery and home-related spending seeing significant increases in sales, while travel-related spending, away-from-home dining and apparel have lagged badly as most Americans continue to stay close to home.
“COVID-19 has impacted our everyday lives in profound ways, and it has accelerated trends already in place,” said
The forecast projects that online retail sales now will reach
While Amazon.com remains the dominant player in the online retail space, the COVID-19 pandemic has enabled large omnichannel retailers to boost their online sales, particularly with the use of curbside pickup, and to increase market share. Amazon’s estimated market share of online sales likely declined slightly in 2Q20 despite reporting record-level retail sales, as several large retailers saw online sales double or triple in the most recent quarter.
While many people who were forced to use the online channel for purchases due to the pandemic will continue to do so in the future, annual sales growth similar to 2020 is highly unlikely going forward. Annual online retail sales growth will decelerate to low double-digit rates over the next several years, according to the forecast.
The pandemic also will alter the traditional holiday shopping season this year, as Amazon postponed its traditional Prime Day promotion in
To provide perspective on this year’s holiday season, FTI Consulting’s Retail & Consumer Products practice recently conducted a
“No forecast model could have ever anticipated what transpired in 2020,” said J.D. Wichser, Leader of the Retail & Consumer Products practice at
About the 2020 U.S. Online Retail Forecast
FTI Consulting’s 2020 U.S. Online Retail Forecast is a bottom-up logistic growth curve (or S-curve) that best fits estimated historical market shares for various product categories since 2000. Those categories include: music and videos, books and magazines, toys and hobby, consumer electronics, sporting goods, apparel, grocery and other product categories.
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