|Last Quarterly Update:||2/20/2017|
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Companies in this industry sell products directly to consumers via the internet, TV, or mail order. Major companies include US-based Amazon, HSN, J Crew, and Liberty Interactive (parent company of QVC), as well as Shop Direct Home Shopping (based in the UK), Otto Group (Germany), Alibaba Group-owned Taobao (China), and Rakuten (Japan).
Globally, annual e-commerce revenue was estimated to be about $1.9 trillion in 2016 and is expected to top $4 trillion by 2020, according to eMarketer. Growth is driven in large part by rapidly expanding online and mobile user bases in emerging markets, increases in mobile commerce sales, and the push into new international markets by major brands. The Asia/Pacific region (China in particular) is the world's fastest-growing market for online sales. Sales in the region are expected to rise from $1 trillion in 2016 to $2.7 trillion by 2020. Much of the growth in the region will come from rural consumers making purchases from mobile phones.
The internet and mail-order retail industry in the US includes about 32,500 establishments (single-location companies and units of multi-location companies) with combined annual revenue of about $430 billion. Over the past five years, the bulk of the industry's revenue has shifted from catalog to internet sales. While most brick-and-mortar retailers have an online presence and many also offer catalog sales, this profile focuses on retailers who use the internet or catalogs as their sole or primary sales channel.
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