E-commerce worldwide - Statistics & Facts

E-commerce worldwide - Statistics & Facts

Statistics and facts about global e-commerce

For private consumers around the globe the most well-known form of e-commerce falls into the business to consumer (B2C) category, also known as online retail or online shopping. It refers to online purchases from bricks-and-mortar retailers, such as Walmart, as well as from “pure-click” online retailing corporations such as Amazon.com or Rakuten. Although it is a growing business around the globe, with some 41 percent of global internet users having purchased products online in 2013, the online shopping penetration rate varies from one country to another; as of 2015, China was the country where most internet users had bought a product online within the previous month. Other countries where online shopping is thriving are Germany, India, Brazil and United Kingdom.


In 2013, global e-retail sales amounted to 839.8 billion U.S. dollars and projections show a growth of up to 1.5 trillion U.S. dollars by 2018. North America is currently the largest regional market for online shopping, with sales worth some 126 billion U.S. dollars reported in 2013, more than double the amount in 2008. The Asia and Oceania region is also becoming a strong contender, especially due to China’s economic boom, with an estimated eight fold increase in sales between 2008 and 2018. The unprecedented worldwide B2C e-commerce sales growth is however expected to slightly slow down in the near future. In 2013, global B2C e-commerce sales grew 19 percent compared to the previous year, but in 2018 forecast expect growth of only 10 percent. In Europe, the United Kingdom is by far the largest market for B2C e-commerce, with a turnover of 107 billion Euros in 2013, twice the amount of the second ranked, France.

In recent years, mobile shopping has been on the rise, with customers increasingly using their mobile devices for various online shopping activities. According to a 2015 study regarding mobile shopping penetration worldwide, 46 percent of internet users in the Asia Pacific region and 20 percent of those in North America had purchased products via a mobile device, whether smartphone or tablet computer. When asked whether mobile phones will become the main tool for purchasing goods in the future, some 9 percent of respondents in an extended global survey strongly agreed. Opinions, however, differed according to region and country, where shoppers Denmark and Belgium rather disagreed, while those in China and India agreed the most. M-commerce sales in India have accounted for 11 percent of total retail sales in 2014 and were expected to grow to 25 percent by 2017, while in China, mobile online retail sales have grown by some 450 percent between 2010 and 2011 and are expected to continue growing in the future, although at much lower rates.

Amazon.com is one of the most popular and well-known example of an online shopping platform. Founded in 1995, the Seattle-based site started out as an online bookstore, but soon began expanding its product range towards other retail goods and consumer electronics. As of 2013, Amazon is the worldwide leading e-retailer, as well as the number one m-retailer globally.

A worldwide study regarding shopping behavior shows that as of 2014, some of the most popular product categories to be shopped online are electronics, fashion and apparel or home appliances. Regional differences are obvious once again, as groceries for example are bought online by 90 percent of Chinese internet users, but only 26 percent of Americans, while sports and outdoor purchases are more popular in Germany than Japan.



Photo: istockphoto.com / aleksl

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