Forrester predicts a new online boom

Forrester predicts a new online boom

Forrester anticipates significant growth in online retail spending in the largest European countries in the coming years. The American research firm expects an average annual growth of 9.2 percent.

Forrester revealed this in a recently published report on online retail predictions for five countries: Germany, the UK, France, Italy, and Spain. Together, they account for 70 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) in Western Europe.

The research firm notes that both online and offline retail spending has been strongly influenced in recent years by the COVID-19 pandemic, global supply chain issues, decades-high inflation, and a weak economy.

Online retail is growing again

Online retail sales experienced negative growth in 2022 after extremely strong growth in 2020 and 2021. In the current year, spending is growing again, but not as before, according to Forrester in a blog post: “Though online retail sales growth returned to positive territory in 2023, it was much below the average growth during the pre-pandemic years from 2014 to 2019.”

Pre-pandemic levels

Forrester expects online retail sales growth to “rebound to pre-pandemic levels” in 2024 and thereafter. The research firm forecasts that combined online retail sales in Europe’s top 5 countries will increase from 372 billion euros in 2023 to 579 billion euros in 2028, at a five-year compound annual growth rate of no less than 9.2 percent.

Forrester predicts hundreds of billions in growth until 2028

The total expected growth of online retail spending in the five countries is 207 million euros in the next five years, or 56 percent. A new online boom period is emerging, according to Forrester’s predictions. The forecast aligns with that of GlobalData, which expects 9 percent growth for ecommerce in Europe until 2027.

Online retail penetration

The research firm also comments on the expected online retail penetration, the percentage of online retail sales out of total retail sales. After years of consecutive growth, online retail penetration declined in 2022. In 2023, online retail penetration will remain flat, according to Forrester. The research firm expects the combined online retail penetration of the five countries mentioned to increase from 16 percent in 2023 to 22 percent in 2028, with the United Kingdom ranking the highest.




Arjan van Oosterhout has been contributing to Ecommerce News Europe since the spring of 2023. He writes news articles for the website on a freelance basis.

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