VTEX Blog - Retail Forecast For 2017: Digital Commerce Is The New Black

Retail Forecast For 2017: Digital Commerce Is The New Black

Alexandre Soncini
9 Feb 2017

It’s no secret that the retail industry, both online and in-store continue to grow, however predictions from the National Retail Federation are anticipating an exceptional amount of growth for 2017.

From a report that was just released, they are predicting an average of 3.7 – 4.2% growth over 2016’s numbers. including a combination of digital/online and brick and mortar sales. Nonstore sales alone are expected to see advancement at rates between 8-12%, which includes online retail, mail order catalog sales, phone sales, and additional direct-to-consumer options, and this is a very positive sign for the year ahead regarding business projections and as an overview of the American economy.

The fourth quarter in 2016 reported sales of $145.49 billion for all nonstore sales, which was a 12.5% increase of 2015’s numbers, according to the US Commerce Department. Judging by this report from Q4, predictions for digital commerce are expected, on their own, to increase at a rate of 16% during the same Q4 period this year; indicative of expansion that has not been seen since 2013.

This is very positive news for the digital commerce industry, as well as the overall economy as it signals positive action in all areas. Additionally, it makes it clear that having the best services in place, along with the most advanced website platform and technology to handle the incoming shift in growth would be in the best interest of retailers aiming to get their stores ready for the impending gains ahead.

“It is clear that online sales will continue to expand in 2017 and provide growth for the retail industry,” NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said. “But it is important to realize that virtually every major retailer sells online and many of those sales will be made by discount stores, department stores and other traditional retailers. Retailers sell to consumers however they want to buy, whether it’s in-store, online or mobile.” Clearly, this is evidence that those prepared, and willing to go the extra mile to serve the needs of their customers are going to experience the greatest cut of the opportunities.

In the US, retail still remains the largest private sector employing entity, supplying one in four jobs; or 24 million Americans. Growth in this sector influences so many others, and because retail is growing faster than it ever has, it is presenting excellent opportunities for many companies to grow right along with it. More than ever, it is clear that having the best technology available to capitalize on these trends is necessary if you are operating in this business.

VTEX offers one of the most scalable options as a platform, and is ready to service the needs of those gearing up for a higher level of unified commerce in the months and years to come. Our platform is designed to auto-scale to the demands of traffic, is accessible through a variety of channels including mobile and marketplace, and is known for its ability to outperform its competitors through its elastic-cloud infrastructure that can function without crashing during the most critical points of traffic, such as Black Friday. Suffice it to say, as far as a 16% growth goes for Q4 in 2017, here at VTEX we are ready for everything!