We’ve listed the top 10 countries with the biggest or fastest-growing e-commerce markets
Most people nowadays prefer the lazy approach to shopping. Instead of going out, they buy online. Why would you waste your time on reaching the local store or standing in line when there are thousands of digital shops right in your pocket?
More and more people all over the world have stopped considering e-commerce as risky due to the popular online marketplaces with strong customer protection services and safe mobile payment gateways.
Top 10 e-commerce markets worldwide
According to business.com, the top 10 e-commerce markets in the world are now:
- South Korea
In 2019, retail e-commerce sales worldwide amounted to $3.53 trillion and e-retail revenues were projected to grow to $6.54 trillion in 2022. However, this number may be revised now, as more and more customers start appreciating remote purchases.
The Coronavirus seems to be having a lasting and permanent impact on the acceleration of e-commerce. To begin with, people explored online shopping even in those segments which were previously not too popular (like grocery, beauty products, etc.). Secondly, many buyers still shy away from large crowds in shopping malls with the vaccines too far away and not yet on the horizon. Furthermore, those who were forced out of their traditional shopping routines to the comfort of stay-at-home buying are liking the new experience.
In the UK, two in five shoppers say that they will make more frequent online purchases after the lockdown.
Globally, the situation is similar. GlobalWebIndex’s coronavirus research has revealed that nearly half of global consumers do not expect to resume shopping in bricks-and-mortar shops for ‘some time’ or ‘a long time’ once lockdowns ease.
China has ultimately outperformed the US in e-commerce terms. According to China Internet Watch, the country’s online retail sales reached 10,632.4 billion yuan (US$1,552 bn) in 2019, an increase of 16.5% over the previous year.
This market size is impressively larger than the next 10 markets combined with a strong accent on mobile shopping.
Moreover, the report from Statista suggests it will stay in the lead through 2024. It may signify that a shift in purchasing power from the US and Europe to China and Southeast Asia has begun.
As of May 2019, Alibaba, JD.com, and Pinduoduo ranked as the leading three Chinese e-commerce retailers, accounting for almost 80% of the total online retail sales in the country.
Experts note the growing influence of Live Streaming sessions on consumer shopping behavior in 2019.
Traditional chain stores in the US and Canada have seen an 80% year-on-year rise in online sales in April 2020, which may become the first step towards an omnichannel strategy for those retailers. Overall, US online sales increased by 49% in April on a year-on-year basis while 90% of shoppers were hesitant to shop in stores because of the coronavirus.
As eMarketer predicted, Amazon would retain its dominance of the U.S e-commerce market, commanding 47.0% of sales in 2019. The Q1 2020 boosted its profit enormously. While Amazon Web Services brought the company $10B in revenues, the total revenue number for the quarter is $75.5B. For the second quarter, Amazon expected net sales to amount to $75B-$81B, representing year-over-year growth around 18%-28%.
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E-commerce in the UK is expected to be worth €222.5B at the end of this year. That would mean an increase of almost 11% compared to 2019. 87% of all people who use the Internet in this country have admitted buying something online last year. This year, coronavirus has made significant amends to the distribution of retail sales. In April, Internet sales constituted 30% of total retail sales nationwide.
The largest B2C e-commerce market in Europe has long been one of the top destinations for cross-border online shopping. However, it’s currently experiencing a worrying trend. Despite the online sales growth, within the last quarter of 2019, overall retail sales fell by 1.0%, according to the Office of National Statistics.
The study shows that consumers in the UK are more inclined to buy groceries online than other European customers. Most of them (69%) buy the same amount of food, or more, online than in-store.
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Showing an increase of 5%, the Japanese e-commerce market contributed to the worldwide growth rate of 13% in 2019. According to Statista, the most recent annual revenue in Japanese online sales equals $99,566 million. The average revenue per user currently amounts to $1,126.
The top three online stores, Amazon, Apple and Yodobashi, together account for 15% of online revenue in Japan. One of the fastest-growing stores in the national market is plst.com that specializes in fashion products. The store achieved sales of about US$4.4 million in 2019 which presents an astonishing revenue growth of 280%.
Germany is Europe’s largest economy and it’s also the EU’s most populous country. Around 65 million people – 80% of the German population – are purchasing online on a regular basis. Almost one-third (29%) of Germans shopped online at least once a week in 2019, while the staggering majority buys something online monthly.
The number of e-commerce consumers, internet penetration and the average spent per year are above the European average.
According to statistics from 2018, the ten largest online retailers in Germany are Amazon, Otto, Zalando, Mediamarkt, Notebooksbilliger.de, Lidl, Bonprix, Cyberport, Alternate, and Conrad.
Revenue in the e-сommerce market amounts to $82,457M in 2020.
The turnover of B2C e-commerce in France is expected to be worth €115.2 billion at the end of this year. According to data from the Centre for Retail Search online sales in France account for 6% of total retail sales and 4.27% of the country’s GDP.
The most visited online store in this country is Amazon, with more than 15 million unique visitors per month. Other big online players are Cdiscount, eBay, Fnac and Priceminister.
Besides having globally the highest average internet connection speed, with an online penetration of about 92.7%, South Korea ranks as one of the most connected countries in the world.
Revenue in the eCommerce market amounts to $71,449m in 2020, while the average revenue per user is higher than in other top e-commerce markets ー $1,936.
Popular Korean e-commerce platforms include “G-Market”, “11th Street” and “Coupang”.
In late 2019, e-commerce retail sales amounted to almost 1.85 billion Canadian dollars, with approximately 28.1 million Canadians have made purchases online. The market shows steady robust growth. For instance, in January 2020, e-commerce volumes in Canada grew by 9% compared to the same period of the previous year. Revenue is expected to surpass $33 billion by 2024.
One of the popular P2P e-commerce platforms is Kijiji. With over 55 million monthly visitors, it’s the 8th largest classifieds site in the world. Here millions of live ads help Canadians to buy, sell, trade, and even help each other with goods, cars, services, housing, or jobs.
Canadian Tire, with 25 million people visiting monthly, is a local success story, owning chains of 500+ retail stores across the country, as well as three additional brands.
Russia is entering a phase of accelerated development of e-commerce. Its major online retailers see their revenues grow annually between 50% and 150%. In 2018, the e-commerce of physical goods in Russia was worth around €16.35 billion, which doesn’t include cross-border sales. It accounted for about 5% of total retail sales. The revenue was expected to reach about €19.74 billion at the end of 2019.
The number of purchases online in the first half of 2019 was 191 million, up by a record 44%. The market’s largest segment is Electronics & Media.
Nevertheless, the Russian population remains skeptical about e-commerce and online payments in general. According to Statista, user penetration is only 43.1% in 2020 and the average revenue per user is moderate $344.
Russia’s leading e-retailer Wildberries accounts for one-third of online purchases in Russia. The company estimated its turnover to top 200 billion rubles ($3 billion) in 2019. Other popular choices for online retail include Yandex Market, Ozon.ru, Eldorado, and Mvideo. The foreign penetration is low with AliExpress.ru taking the obvious lead.
Brazil is the most important e-commerce market in Latin America where online retail sales are predicted to surpass $16.7 billion by the end of 2020.
Because of the growing interest rates, scarce credit, rising dollar rates, unemployment and rising inflation, Brazilian consumers have become more practical, delaying non-essential purchases and seeking discounts. E-commerce has brought them comfort, convenience, variety of supply and the ability to search and compare prices easily. Hence, despite the unfavorable economic landscape, E-commerce in Brazil has maintained steady growth.
M-commerce is quickly increasing its market share here. Brazil is the 6th largest smartphone market worldwide, and the 3rd country in terms of hours spent browsing the internet on mobile devices, so over 42% of all e-commerce transactions are made via mobiles.
Argentinian brand Mercado Livre is, so far, the reigning champion of the Brazilian e-commerce market.