2016 Online Retailing across Canada, Europe and the US

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In North America and Europe, online retail sales have continued growing. Online sales in eight countries namely Germany, Poland, UK, Spain, Poland, Netherlands, Italy and France grew between 2014 and 2015 from £132.05 billion to £156.67 billion. The growth trend is expected to continue with online sales expected to hit £182.80 billion for the mentioned nations in 2016 and a whopping £215.38 billion by 2017.

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North America

U.S. online sales are expected to keep growing right into 2016. From £215.38 billion in 2015, the sales are expected to grow by 14.4 percent to a high of £246.39 billion by 2016. The Canadian online retail sector is a bit smaller in terms of forecast comparatively and expected to grow from £10.57 billion in 2015 to hit £14.16 billion by 2016 in a percentage increase of 34 percent.

It's worth noting that the retail online sector remains a major driver in North American and European retail spending. In Europe, growth in online retailing grew by 18.4 percent in 2014, 18.6 percent in 2015 with the 2016 growth expected to be 16.7 percent and 15.7 percent by 2017.

Recessionary effects

Lots of shoppers are buying furniture online today in contrast with traditional stores, which has been deduced as a recession-induced change. Today, web search is very predictable and easy, which has made internet retailing one of the most attractive for various products. The growth in mobile technology is also seen as another factor that has made online retailing highly convenient and attractive around the world.

The online market in Europe has been dominated by key players namely France, Germany and the United Kingdom that together contribute to 81.5 percent of the entire online retail sales in Europe across Poland, Sweden, Netherlands, Italy, Spain, France, Germany and the UK.

Online retail market shares

The market shares across Europe were comparatively low if you didn't consider Germany and UK markets in 2015. The market share mean in Europe stood at 7.2 percent in 2014 and 8.4 percent in 2015 with 2016 percentage mean expected to stand at about 9.4 percent. In 2010, 9.4 percent was the online share of United Kingdom and currently stands at 16.8 percent.  As such, the European rate of growth has been fast, comparatively.

Among the top countries in terms of online shares within their own markets include Germany with a 2016 forecast of 13.5 percent, the UK with a 16.8 percent for 2016 and France with a 2016 forecast of 9.4 percent. Netherlands and Sweden also have higher market shares although Germany has enjoyed the fastest online sector growth for the last couple of years. However, Germany's 2016 forecast online retail sector growth of 18.3 percent is expected to lose to Spain's 18.8 percent.

In contrast to Europe, the United States remains the online retailing leader where among the eight nations surveyed about 62.3 percent of the US public were online shoppers to Europe's 49.6 percent in 2015. While the typical US online shopper spent about £1,119.79 in 2015, the average European online shopper spent £820.05 on average.

Mobile e-commerce

The growth of online retailing cannot be separated from mobile technology and mobile responsive e-commerce. Lots of retails have reported that about 70 percent to 80 percent of internet browsing on their sites takes place through mobile devices for tablets and Smartphones. By 2015, about 20 percent of web spending across Europe took place through mobile devices, as much as the mobile e-commerce proportions across Europe stood at 26.2 percent in Sweden, 27.7 percent in Germany and 28.6 percent in the UK.

In web retailing, increased sales through mobile devices are one of the reasons why the sales have gone up, about 88 percent in Europe; laptop and PC based online growth stood at only 6 percent.

77 percent of internet users in the UK were found to have made online purchases in 2015, making it a leading online market in Europe. Of the entire 64.91 million UK population 92 percent are web users, meaning that e-commerce has a huge potential across England. This is the reason most UK retailers have adopted e-commerce in their growth strategies taking cue from giant e-commerce players such as Amazon and eBay. These UK retailers include Asos, Argos, Next, Tesco, John Lewis, Marks & Spencer, IKEA and B&Q among others.

Traditional stores and online sales

Online sales growth currently will most definitely lower the market for traditional stores according to marketing analysts.  If the domestic retailing hits 5 percent in terms of online sales, it's expected to come at the expense of traditional stores.  The forecast for online retailers in Europe growth is expected to be 16.7 percent if the retail market remains stagnant.

As a result, the store sales are expected to dip by 1.5 percent in total in 2016 and 4.3 percent across the United Kingdom and 2.2 percent in the United States. As such, it creates a major issue for retailers who work chiefly through stores; policymakers are also looking at the results showing reduced direct employment within the retail sector.

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