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Shopping surge

Online sales to double by 2018, study predicts

Online sales will grow dramatically by 2018, a new study predicts.
Online sales will grow dramatically by 2018, a new study predicts.

If you think online shopping is big now, brace yourself. It’s about to get even bigger.

The world’s four largest online retail markets will double in size by 2018, according to research released this week.

Online sales in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany and China will reach $985 billion during the next three years, the study by PayPal, Google and others found.

Purchases made via mobile devices will drive much of the growth, the report predicts.

“The number of people with Internet access is growing fast, with many new consumers skipping the desktop phase entirely and only experiencing the web through a smartphone,” said Martijn Bertisen, a Google sales director.

The growth in online shopping has driven major shipping increases. During the past five years alone, the Postal Service’s package volumes have surged about 30 percent.

To accommodate ongoing growth, USPS is investing in new equipment, including machines that can sort as many as 6,000 parcels an hour, as well as new delivery vehicles with more cargo space.

The Postal Service also has introduced the My app, which allows customers to manage and track their USPS-shipped packages.

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