Direct-to-Consumer Sales Approach $18 Billion This Year: eMarketer

April 6, 2020         By: Steven Anderson

There’s little doubt that online shopping, as facilitated by mobile payments, is going to be a huge part of this year’s shopping, however much of it there actually turns out to be. In fact, the folks at eMarketer sent us a projection that suggests the direct-to-consumer sales market could hit close to $18 billion this year alone. However, even with these optimistic projections, there’s a potential for headwinds to come.

The good part about eMarketer’s projections is that there are several areas that are left out of their study. Excluded firms include travel and event tickets, food and drink, gambling, “vice goods”, and payment services like bill payment or tax payment. That immediately pulls a lot of sectors that might have come under fire in the midst of coronavirus panic and gives eMarketer’s figures a chance to have some impact.

The figures from eMarketer start from a pretty solid base; direct-to-consumer sales hit $14.28 billion just last year, so projecting a bit of growth from there isn’t out of line. In fact, eMarketer’s figures suggest that sales will reach $17.75 billion by the end of the year, which represents a 24.3 percent hike over those earlier figures.

Naturally, online shopping has taken a real dogleg up thanks to the various legal actions taken to keep everyone out of physical stores as much as possible, but by like token, the impact of increasing joblessness caused by those legal actions is likely to have a much more negative impact all its own. That was a point eMarketer’s Oscar Orozco pointed out, noting that, while consumers were doing a lot more online shopping, there were fewer shoppers in general. This was especially true as customers shifted focus away from nice-to-have products and over to household essentials.

It has become clear in recent days that online shopping is vital to keeping a business afloat. Just ask Nordstrom about that much, whose online shopping makes up a substantial portion of its income. A wide range of businesses has already seen as much in the last month, as customers fail to hit physical stores as required by law. The explosion in job losses certainly won’t help shopping much either.

Basically, eMarketer’s projections may not pan out, but they certainly don’t want for ambition. Let’s hope that the economy can get back sufficiently on track to make this happen before 2020 comes crashing to an end.