It's no knock to say reports such as this are usually all about marketing. And sure enough this report pushes something called the IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark tool -- IBM's "Big Data" analysis service. In fact there is a link at the end of the report for the product, which the company says "measures every interaction on every participating site, capturing comprehensive customer and user behavioral data." In other words, it's just counting what it sees: page views, sales, paid search sessions, marketing sessions, direct load sessions, all that stuff. And more, actually. From this show-all-the-data perspective, the report makes real -- and sobering -- sense.
Certainly e-commerce isn't disappearing -- it's maturing rapidly. It's no longer a retail playland. Some categories are facing real limits in retention, user interaction and probably growth. And while total sales will grow, the notion of "social sales" as a magic retailer bullet is probably not a winner. The larger message is clear: Don't be surprised when other reports begin mimicking IBM's data. And don't be surprised by how the Internet industrial complex stubbornly refuses to face this new reality. I guess floating down the river named "Denial" is just too much fun.