Consumers expected to purchase more than $3tr (£2.4tr) over the internet in 2019, with more than 15% of total retail sales now online around the world.
Ecommerce growth rates have started to slow in saturated markets like the US and Germany, but international ecommerce growth remains strong as more people around the world get online and start to make purchases, on desktops, laptops or increasingly on their smartphones.
A significant proportion of recent growth can be aligned to the the rapid rise of the smartphone. In the US, around 40% of all online retail sales are made via smartphone (known as mobile commerce or m-commerce), and that figure is expected to rise to 53.9 percent by 2021. In the UK, the world’s third largest ecommerce market, m-commerce sales are growing at 16% per year, significantly outpacing desktop sales growth of five percent, and are expected to be worth $314.5bn (£243.7bn) by 2022.
Meanwhile, in a less saturated market like India, m-commerce rates are catching up, with 30% of online retails sales already made via smartphone, with that number expected to grow to over 40% by 2021. Mobile commerce is set to overtake desktop sales globally by 2023, according to the recent Global Payments Trends report from Worldpay.
Whilst many smaller retailers thrive online, market consolidation and aggressive loyalty benefits from large operators in recent years, means that the top 10 retailers accounted for 15.1% of all global ecommerce revenues last year. These retailers are Amazon.com, JD.com, Suning Commerce Group, Apple, Walmart, Dell Technologies, Vipshop Holdings, Otto Group, Gome Electrical Appliances, and Macy’s. Half of the top 10 are from the US, four are based in China, and one is located in the EU (Germany).
The electronics and media category continues to drive ecommerce sales, with the category the best-selling category for each of the five top-ranked online retailers. In 2018, over half ($42bn) of Amazon’s total sales ($77bn) were in the electronics and media category.