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Global Online Retail Sales to Top One Trillion Euro This Year

Hamburg-based business intelligence organization yStats.com’s comprehensive new report on online retail sales worldwide tells of continued growth and trends in the industry. The report, titled “Global B2C E-Commerce and Online Payment Market 2014” sees slowing growth rates overall following the vertiginous increases of recent years in North American and Western Europe, as the rapid growth in online sales spreads to emerging markets.

The yStats.com publication reports that even as forecasted global growth rates slow from close to +20% in 2014 to around 10% by 2018, B2C E-Commerce worldwide is expected to top a trillion euros by that year. The Asia-Pacific region is forecasted to be the fastest growing B2C E-Commerce market worldwide and to overtake North America as the number one region in terms of B2C E-Commerce sales within a few years.

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Worldwide, the emerging markets such as China, Indonesia, Mexico, India and Russia by far outpace advanced B2C E-Commerce markets in terms of growth. With Internet user and online shopper penetration in these countries continuing to increase every year, as the payments and delivery infrastructure improves, these markets are forecasted to keep scoring rapid growth rates in online retail for several more years. Meanwhile, in the advanced markets such as the USA, Japan, South Korea, the UK, Germany and France the total B2C E-Commerce pace of growth is declining, but mobile shopping and new product categories, such as groceries, still offer potential for further growth.

Of special importance are two leading trends in E-Commerce worldwide: the use of mobile devices such as tablet computers and smartphones for shopping, referred to as M-Commerce, and cross-border online shopping.

M-Commerce is transforming the retail industry worldwide, as mobile traffic to retail sites surges and the variety of products purchased on mobile grows. In the advanced markets of North America and Europe the share of M-Commerce on total online retail already reaches 10% or several percentage points above. In emerging markets where smartphone and tablet penetration is rapidly growing the practice of online shopping through these devices is also increasing.

Cross-border B2C E-Commerce is growing to a multi-billion dollar market, where online shoppers from such countries as the USA, Brazil, Australia and others buy directly from online merchants in the UK, China, France and other countries worldwide.

New payment methods have developed and traditional payment channels have adapted to online shopping. Payment by credit card continues to predominate worldwide, however alternative payment methods such as E-Wallets are on the rise, by far outpacing the growth of credit card use. In some emerging markets, especially in Middle East & Africa, cash on delivery dominates over credit card payments. Mobile payments are also growing rapidly. For example, in China more than 100 million people or a quarter of mobile Internet users used mobile payments in 2013.

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Looking at the major players in global B2C E-Commerce, US based Amazon.com Inc. remains the global leader by E-Commerce revenues, but the growth leaders in the top ten are two Chinese online companies which both conducted IPO this year, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and JD.com Inc. Another pure play company from the top ten from which an IPO is expected is Cnova N.V., a newly formed E-Commerce subsidiary of the French Groupe Casino. Also in the top ten online sellers are several store retailers who have intensively developed and expanded their E-Commerce channels worldwide, such as Wal-Mart Stores and Tesco.