It should come as no surprise to hear that online retail is steadily on the rise. But what may be surprising is how many consumer electronics retailers do not have Web sites or dismiss e-commerce as a valid sales channel. And yet, it’s getting harder to support such arguments.
An upcoming report by Forrester research—The State of Online Retailing Report—offers some insight. According to the group’s survey of U.S. retailers, online sales are expected to reach $211 billion in 2006, over $176 billion in 2005 and now accounts (not counting travel sales) for five percent of the retail market. Perhaps more importantly, within these numbers is profit. Eighty-three percent of retailers surveyed achieved operating margin profitability in 2005, with average operating margins of 26 percent.
Other interesting findings from the survey: