In 2015, global e-retail sales amounted to over 1.6 trillion U.S. dollars and projections show a growth of up to 3.5 trillion U.S. dollars by 2018, these numbers exceeding even the most optimistic expectations of market analysts. The largest national economies on the e-commerce market are, as of 2015, the United States and China, with e-commerce revenues estimated at 287 million U.S. dollars and 247 million U.S. dollars respectively.
By 2018, e-commerce penetration is expected to reach almost 50 percent of the world population, albeit with stark differences between regions and even countries. One of the areas with the most growth potential on the global market is Asia Pacific, where the digital buyer penetration has reached an estimated 46.8 percent of internet users in 2015. A global ranking of e-commerce penetration by country shows UK, Germany and South Korea leading, each with over 70 percent of the population having bought a product online during the previous month.
Asia Pacific is currently the region with the most potential for growth, in part due to the rise of the middle class and increased internet penetration. In 2015, retail e-commerce sales as percentage of total retail sales were highest in this region, leaving behind Western Europe and North America. As of 2016, China, due to its sheer number of inhabitants, but also to its fast economic development, is the main e-commerce market in Asia Pacific, with accounting for an estimated 62.5 percent of digital buyers in the region.