US online retail sales likely to surpass $1 trillion in 2027

Report shows 9 percent growth in next decade

By 2027, online sales in the United States are expected to hit the $1 trillion mark, and Amazon will be the biggest winner.

Global business advisor FTI Consulting issued a report saying Amazon currently represents 4 percent of relevant U.S. retail sales, and that will be 12 percent in 2027. Amazon's total market share of online retail sales — first-party plus third-party — was 34 percent in 2016 and will be 53 percent in 2027, the report states.

"Online shopping changes how and where people shop but doesn't much alter consumer spending dollars in the aggregate," FTI's report says.

Walmart is also a big player in online retail sales with a recent Bank of America report estimating its online sales to surge $42 billion by 2022 from $11 billion in 2017. If the forecast is correct, Walmart will have 6 percent of online sales within five years.

That kind of growth could even pinch Amazon a bit, FTI's report says.

"Most Americans are already shopping online," the report says. And online shopping is popular across all age cohorts — especially younger shoppers. A Pew Research Center survey shows nearly 80 percent of Americans have shopped online, and just fewer than half of all Americans make online purchases weekly, or at least a few times per month.

Online shopping in the U.S. will likely plateau at around 90 percent of households, the report says. While online grocery shopping is increasing in popularity, it appears to still be the most-common in-store shopping preference, followed by consumer electronics and home furnishings.

FTI's report says the current 2017 online sales forecast of $445 billion is 2 percent higher than what was modeled a year ago.

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