B2C E-Commerce

B2C is the consumer facing segment of e-commerce. It refers to the internet transactions of goods and services that take place between a business and a private consumer. B2C e-commerce is often used interchangeably with online retail. However, acting as an umbrella term, B2C e-commerce does not only refer to online retail but also to online marketplaces, as well as the growing markets of direct-to-consumer (D2C) e-commerce and paid content. With e-commerce continuing to develop worldwide, the market is increasingly expanding into more niche categories, catering to more and more specific consumer and business needs.

Globally, Asia boasts the largest B2C e-commerce market, followed by the equally robust but smaller North American and European markets. Asia’s prominence in the e-commerce sector is reflected by the strength of players such as the Chinese Alibaba Group, which is currently the biggest online marketplace globally.

Value of global e-commerce retail sales worldwide
4 trillion USD
CAGR of retail e-commerce worldwide between 2020-2024
Annual net sales of Amazon
386bn USD

Market size

It's only up from here for B2C e-commerce
Retail e-commerce sales worldwide from 2014 to 2023 (in billion U.S. dollars)
Further details: Visit original statistic

There is little doubt that e-commerce will continue to shape the consumer and retail industries, not only changing shopping behavior, but also contributing to the digital transformation of retail business models. The next few years will see a tremendous growth of B2C e-commerce in the retail industry, with global revenues expected to grow by 85 percent until 2023 compared to 2019. This rapid rise is a direct result of the acceleration induced by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

E-commerce worldwide
E-commerce in the U.S.
E-commerce in Europe

Market segments

Fashion's love affair with e-commerce
E-commerce revenue forecast in Europe from 2017 to 2024, by segment (in billion U.S. dollars)
Further details: Visit original statistic

E-commerce has integrated well within many segments of the retail and consumer goods market. From consumer electronics to furniture, personal care products to household goods, e-commerce purchases are increasingly generating higher revenues. But the performance of online channels is particularly stellar in the fashion segment. For 2021, revenues from fashion purchases are forecast to reach 760 million U.S. dollars, constituting approximately one third of all e-commerce revenues worldwide.

Beauty and personal care e-commerce in the United States
Fashion e-commerce in the United States
Furniture e-commerce in the United States

Industry trends

Not just online, but also mobile
Leading shopping apps for iPhone in the United States in December 2020, by average number of daily active users
Further details: Visit original statistic

Increasingly, retailers and e-commerce platforms are diversifying the shopping channels that are offered to consumers. In addition to mobile-optimized websites, many brands invest in shopping apps to create more convenient and smooth shopping journeys. In the U.S., the most used shopping app was Amazon Shopping, with around 1.5 million average daily active users in 2020. Shopping apps are available not only for online businesses, but also leading brick-and-mortar retail companies like Walmart.

Mobile commerce in the United States
Mobile commerce in the UK
Social commerce

Industry leaders

Amazon in the U.S., Alibaba in China
E-commerce market share of leading e-retailers worldwide in 2019, based on GMV
Further details: Visit original statistic

Two of the biggest players in the global e-commerce market are Amazon and Alibaba. Despite a staggering market share of 52 percent in the U.S., on a global scale, Amazon only accounts for 13 percent of the e-commerce market. China's Alibaba Group, on the other hand, operates two of the largest e-commerce platforms worldwide. Put together, retail sales on Taobao.com and Tmall.com make up for 30 percent of the e-commerce market.

Alibaba Group
Amazon Prime

Regional overview

Asia is the biggest e-commerce market
Total e-commerce revenue worldwide in 2019 (in billion U.S. dollars), by region
Further details: Visit original statistic

With the highest population density and some of the most robust economies in the world, it is no surprise that the e-commerce market is the largest in Asia. China alone is projected to have over one billion e-commerce users by 2022. In 2019, e-commerce revenues in Asia amounted to over 1.11 trillion U.S. dollars. For comparison, in the United States, total revenues from e-commerce businesses were at about 396 billion U.S. dollars.

E-commerce in Asia Pacific
Cross-border e-commerce in China
E-commerce in China

Industry definition

B2C e-commerce refers to internet transactions of goods and services that take place between a business and a private consumer. It spans online retail, online marketplaces, D2C e-commerce and paid content, but does not include C2C e-commerce and e-services such as online food delivery businesses. Statista's content on B2C e-commerce brings together a comprehensive overview with global, regional, and local data, and an equal focus on present trends, future projections, and the biggest players in the market.


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