Over the last few years, e-commerce has become an indispensable part of global retail. Like many other industries, buying and selling goods has undergone a substantial transformation following the advent of the internet, and thanks to the ongoing digitalization of modern life, consumers all over the world now profit from the perks of online transactions. As global internet access and adoption rapidly increase, with over five billion internet users worldwide, the number of people making purchases online is ever-increasing. In 2022, retail e-commerce sales were estimated to exceed 5.7 trillion U.S. dollars worldwide, and this figure is expected to reach new heights in the coming years.
The Seattle-based e-commerce giant that offers e-retail, computing services, consumer electronics, and digital content registered 5.9 billion direct visits to its .com website in April 2023. In terms of gross merchandise value (GMV), however, Amazon ranks third behind Chinese competitors Taobao and Tmall. Both platforms are operated by the Alibaba Group, the leading online commerce provider in Asia.
Mobile boosts e-commerce traffic
One of the most visible trends in the world of e-commerce is the unprecedented usage of mobile devices. In 2023, smartphones accounted for over 70 percent of all retail website visits worldwide, and in turn, also generated the majority of online orders compared to desktops and tablets. As the adoption of mobile devices is progressing at a rapid pace, especially in regions that lack other digital infrastructure, mobile integration will continue to shape the shopping experience of the future. M-commerce is particularly popular in Asia, with countries like China or South Korea generating over two-thirds of their total online sales via mobile devices.
What do global digital shoppers have in common?
While online shoppers differ greatly depending on their respective regions around the world, there are general indicators that help with understanding basic digital consumer behavior. Leading marketplaces serve as a source of inspiration and the primary place to search for products online before the actual purchase. Even though the online shopping experience is less interactive than the in-store one, online shoppers appreciate the ease and flexibility of e-commerce. Regarding delivery preferences, having products shipped to parcel stations is becoming more popular, as this is often a more sustainable delivery system than home delivery.
In the Business-to-Consumer (B2C) sphere, fashion and consumer electronics are among the top e-commerce verticals to date and contribute to the largest share of online retail sales.
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