Retailers Forecast Strong E-Commerce Sales This Year

BDOUSA-CFO-Retail-Sales-Growth-Forecasts-Feb2013Fresh off a year in which retail e-commerce sales grew by 15%, retailers are expecting another healthy year of e-commerce growth, according to survey results from BDO USA. The survey of 100 chief financial officers (CFOs) from leading retailers around the country found that 74% believe their online sales will grow this year, for an average growth rate of 6.9%. That compares to a more moderate forecast of 3.2% growth in total sales and 2.3% growth in comparable store sales.

With e-commerce accounting for a larger share of overall sales, CFOs report that digital promotions worked well for them over the holiday period. 1 in 3 said that email and social media promotions were a top strategy, double the percentage who cited free shipping. On the other end, traditional strategies such as extended store hours (41%) and Thanksgiving weekend promotions (22%) were cited for being among the least successful tactics.

Other Findings:

  • 66% of CFOs said they include online sales in their comparable store sales reports.
  • Virtually all respondents said they will increase (38%) or maintain (60%) their mobile investments this year.

About the Data: The BDO USA survey was conducted by Market Measurement, Inc., and was a national telephone survey conducted in January and February 2013.