Internet & Mail-Order Retail Industry Profile

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Excerpt from Internet & Mail-Order Retail Industry Profile

Companies in this industry sell products directly to consumers via the internet, TV, or mail order. Major companies include US-based Amazon, eBay, Qurate Retail Group-owned HSN and QVC, and Wayfair, as well as Walmart-owned Flipkart (India), Otto Group (Germany), Rakuten (Japan), Alibaba Group-owned Taobao (China), and The Very Group (based in the UK).

Online sales forecasts for 2020 will need to be revisited due to the impact of the coronavirus, which has stopped traffic to stores and resulted in a massive shift to online shopping. This is especially true for grocery stores, which, until now, had been the least penetrated ecommerce category. Longer term, consumer shopping habits across a broad range of products -- already in flux prior to the pandemic -- are likely to continue to migrate online (even after it's safe to return to stores), presenting ample opportunity for ecommerce merchants to thrive.

Globally, annual e-commerce revenue is about $4 trillion, according to Statista. Growth is driven in large part by rapidly expanding online and mobile user bases in emerging markets, increases in mobile commerce sales, the push into new international markets by major brands. Notably, Covid-19 is turbocharging online sales growth as stores around the world close to help stop the spread of the virus. E-retail revenues are projected to exceed $5 trillion by 2022.

The internet and mail-order retail industry in the US includes about 42,000 establishments (single-location companies and units of multi-location companies) ...

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