The full numbers for eCommerce in 2013 are finally out from the US Census, and the results are looking quite good for anyone who is involved with the online marketing industry at all. The report found that US retailers had 13.6% growth from 2012 to 2013 on their eCommerce platforms. This brought them up to $261 Billion, from $229 Billion in 2012.
The growth is not exactly surprising, but it is always a good idea to work with the best and most accurate numbers possible to avoid getting caught up in the hype that is commonly found in this industry. Taking the time to look at these results, even if they are nearly two years old, is very important. In many ways it will confirm what the estimates had been up to this point.
The official report, which is titled, “E-Stats 2013: Measuring the Electronic Economy” says that in 2013 retail sales accounted for about 5.8% of total sales. This is up from 5.3% in 2012. The total sales also went up by 3.8% to a total of $4.5 trillion in 2013 (2012 had $4.3 trillion).
One thing that marketers should pay close attention to from this report is that the eCommerce is still just a small piece of the total retail puzzle. As you can see, it is just 5.8% in 2013. That percentage will likely go up some in 2014 and 2015 but the reality is, even digital marketers should be looking to see how they can benefit from offline sales as well.
Over time, however, most experts believe that the balance between traditional retail stores and eCommerce will start to get closer to even. This isn’t likely to happen in the near term, but slowly over time.
Where is the Money?
The report found that the largest category for retail merchandise sold through the Internet in 2013 is clothing and clothing accessories. This segment includes footwear. This one segment is generating $40 billion in eCommerce sales at this time, and has gone up since. For anyone looking for a new niche to enter for online marketing efforts, this is clearly a great option. Of course, the vast majority of these sales go through well established companies. Some of them, however, do have affiliate programs in place.
Importance of Reports
These types of reports are an important tool for all marketers to be aware of. They can serve a number of purposes. First, it can provide valuable data about where the money is being spent and how much of it there is. Second, and perhaps most importantly, is that the reports can be used to show potential clients just how essential a good digital marketing strategy can be. When managed properly it can contribute a significant amount to a brand’s bottom line and increase both online and offline sales.
This report can be found HERE.