B2C is the consumer-facing segment of e-commerce. It refers to the internet transactions of goods and services 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 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 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 one of the biggest online marketplaces globally.
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 tremendous growth of B2C e-commerce in the retail industry, with global revenues expected to grow by over 50 percent between 2021 and 2025.
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. By 2023, the fashion e-commerce market revenue is forecast to reach one trillion U.S. dollars worldwide.
Increasingly, retailers and e-commerce platforms are diversifying the shopping channels 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 20 million average daily active users in 2021. Shopping apps are available not only for online businesses but also for leading brick-and-mortar retail companies like Walmart.
Two of the biggest players in the global e-commerce market are Amazon and Alibaba. Amazon ranks first among the leading large cap e-commerce companies worldwide, with a staggering market cap of roughly 1.7 trillion U.S. dollars. China's Alibaba Group, on the other hand, operates two of the largest e-commerce platforms worldwide. Put together, the market cap of Taobao.com and Tmall.com amounted to over 600 billion U.S dollars worldwide in 2021.
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 estimated to have over one billion e-commerce users in 2022. E-commerce revenues in Asia are set to exceed two trillion U.S. dollars in the same year. For comparison, in the Americas, the total retail e-commerce revenue amounts to one trillion U.S. dollars.
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.