The global e-commerce market continues to flourish in 2017 with a growth rate of 17% and forecasted turnover of $1.85 trillion

05 October 2017

Global online retail is increasing rapidly with a forecasted growth rate of 17% in 2017.  Asia now ‘owns’ 50% of the global e-commerce market. This is one of the many interesting findings of theGlobal Ecommerce Report 2017. The report reveals e-commerce trends, facts and figures, and offers insights into each region of the global e-commerce industry.

Jorij Abraham, Managing Director of the Ecommerce Foundation, stated: “This report describes both the commercial opportunities, as well as the challenges for the main global ecommerce markets. While Asia (20%+) is booming, North America (9%+) is slowing down. South America (16.5%+), the Middle East and Africa (11%+) are growing strongly but surprisingly not as quickly as Europe (19%+).

Marlene ten Ham, Secretary General of Ecommerce Europe, declared: “I would like to thank the Ecommerce Foundation for having made the Global Ecommerce Report 2017 available to all our members. E-commerce does not stop at the border of the European Union, therefore we believe that it is very important for online merchants to be aware of what is happening at global level in this rapidly evolving environment.” 

Global B2C e-commerce is expected to increase to $1.84 trillion in 2017, and Asia Pacific will have the highest share of the total B2C e-commerce turnover; i.e. 50% of overall turnover. As a matter of fact, China continues to have the largest B2C e-commerce market with more than $681 billion in turnover, followed by the US with $438 billion and the UK with $196 billion. Moreover, Australia and Turkey show the largest e-commerce turnover growth rates with 40% and 31% respectively. Additionally, the average estimated e-commerce growth of all regions is 17%.

Europe has the highest e-GDP of all regions with 4.91%, but is closely followed by the Asia Pacific with 4.87%. Of the selected countries covered in the report, the UK has the highest e-GDP with 7.9%, then China with 5.8%, followed by France with 3.95%. Moreover, the UK has the highest share of e-shoppers, with 81% of the total population online and 98% of the online population having shopped online. In contrast, only 15% of Indonesia’s population is online, of which, only 29% shopped online*; however, the e-shopper population is growing the fastest in Indonesia, which is experiencing an annual growth rate of 24.2%. Additionally, the average spending per e-shopper globally has increased since 2016 to $1,425 per person, per year, at a 7.4% annual growth rate.

Sara Lone, Research Coordinator at the Ecommerce Foundation, comments: “The data shows that we are far from a growth plateau in the global e-commerce market. The rate of growth continues to increase, possibly due in large part to healthier economies, improvements to infrastructure and higher rates of cultural acceptance for e-commerce. As we evolve into a more connected world, with substantially more people accessing the internet, we see new opportunities to create online shoppers, as well as increase the amount of goods/services online shoppers currently purchase.”

The report displays a correlation between social media and e-commerce trends. Over 53% of global consumers state that social media affects their online purchasing habits, and over 34% share their mobile purchase and online experiences via social media. Additionally, Facebook remains the most popular social media platform for consumer feedback globally (average of 46%), and is the social media platform used by all generations, including Baby Boomers (25%), Generation X (29%), and Millennials (34%). Regionally, Facebook is also the most used social media platform: 85% of Europe; 76% of North America; 86% of South America; 94% of Asia Pacific; and 78% of the Middle East and Africa.

The report also reveals that the internet penetration of the selected report countries is currently at 66.4%, which has increased of 2.65% more compared to 2016, and is growing annually at a rate of 4%. Of all payment methods, bank cards are used most frequently, with 54% of global consumers having used them in 2016. Moreover, more than 61% of global consumers believe shopping online saves money, and price is consistently the most important factor when deciding where to shop. One of the main challenges to global e-commerce surrounds trust; over 42% of consumers cite ‘trust’ as the main barrier to purchasing online. Therefore, it is crucial for success in the global e-commerce market to create an atmosphere of trust for consumers, particularly cross-border e-shoppers.

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