Online retailing to account for $120B by 2018

Seattle—It seems there is no slowing the growth of digital retailing, as e-commerce is expected to account for $120 billion of the retail industry's revenue by 2018.

Shop.org's annual Summit kicked off this morning by touting the growth of digital retailing and giving homage to the pioneers that continue to innovate in the industry.

Vicki Cantrell, executive director, Shop.org, and senior VP, communities, National Retail Federation, welcomed the crowd of more than 5,000 attendees by announcing that online retail sales will total $300 billion by the end of the year, due in large part to the innovative retailers, manufacturers, technology partners and other industry players who push products to the next level.

"A disrupter is not usually what you want in a classroom, but in today's digital classroom, the disrupters are the leaders," said Cantrell. 

Cantrell also commented that as digital retail has matured, it is no longer viewed as a competitor to brick-and-mortar, but a way to optimize the physical store.

Shop.org's opening session also emphasized the shift in the type of retailers dominating the market in 2014. Since 2000, warehouse and Web retailers have gained a portion of the industry as others have lost market share. But as digital retail continues to grow, with no slowing in sight, there come three major challenges that need to be addressed, according Sucharita Mulpuru, VP, principal analyst, Forrester Research.

Mulpuru referred to the challenges as the mobile conversion conundrum, the attribution abyss and a capacity-constrained fourth quarter.

"We can't take growth for granted. We consistently see new challenges that threaten to stunt growth or shift market share so we need to get a better handle on these challenges," said Mulpuru.

See all of FierceRetail's Shop.org 2014 coverage here.

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