Market research firm Insider Intelligence recently predicted that global e-commerce sales will grow 8.9% this year and 9.4% next year. After three years of uncertainty, the global e-commerce market has regained stability and predictability.

According to its forecasts, the following changes will occur in the retail market:

First, e-commerce will accelerate over the next two years. In 2022, global e-commerce sales grew 6.5%, the weakest year for e-commerce, but it has now bottomed out and rebounded. It is expected that the growth rate of the global e-commerce market will reach double digits over the next few years. Although it pales in comparison to the 20% or higher growth rates of the past decade, this is still a good sign.

Second, global retail sales will exceed $30 trillion next year. In 2011, global retail sales had already reached $15 trillion. In twelve years, this figure will double. In the process, Chinese and American sellers contributed about half of the growth.

Third, revenge consumption at brick-and-mortar stores is fading. In 2022, the growth rate of total retail sales outpaced that of e-commerce, meaning brick-and-mortar stores performed better globally than e-commerce. But this will not happen again.

Fourth, e-commerce will regain market share. The easing of pandemic restrictions last year led to a dip in e-commerce penetration as consumers were enthusiastic about returning to physical stores. However, e-commerce is expected to continue grabbing market share in the future, as its growth rate will persistently exceed overall retail sales by at least a few percentage points annually.

Fifth, the overall retail sector is in good shape now, but a slowdown in growth is inevitable. The outlook for global retail sales is slightly better than expected, so the 2023 growth forecast has been revised from 3.9% to 5.5%. Growth rates over the next two years will be similar to the pre-pandemic decade.

Insider Intelligence said that by historical benchmark standards, the global retail sales outlook is good. Although e-commerce growth is not comparable to a decade ago, it is much better than in 2022, and growth in the coming years will be even stronger. However, it also reminds retailers to reset expectations and accept the new normal of “good but not great” annual growth.

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