E-commerce sales are expanding faster than previously anticipated and are projected to increase by double-digit rates every year through 2019. Led by China, the Asia Pacific region is expected to be the main engine of this growth, according to U.S.-based research firm eMarketer.
According to the research firm, worldwide retail sales in 2015 rose by 5.6% to US$22.5 trillion, down from a 6.1% growth rate in 2014. E-commerce sales, by contrast, jumped by 25.1%, reaching
nearly US$1.7 trillion.
Outgrowing traditional sales
In a recent report, eMarketer said that although online spending last year made up just 7.4% of global retail sales, it projects that e-commerce sales growth will outpace brick-and-mortar sales growth by a more than 3-to-1 margin from 2014 through 2019. At this pace, e-commerce sales by 2019 are expected to more than double to nearly US$3.6 trillion, accounting for 12.8% of all retail spending.
Quadrupling of sales expected
Thanks to its rising consumer class and huge population of online shoppers, China is expected to play an outsized role in that growth, eMarketer noted, projecting that e-commerce sales in China will more than quadruple between 2014 and 2019.
The country already leads the world in e-commerce, but by 2019, China’s e-commerce market will reach US$1.97 trillion, making it 3.5 times larger than that of the U.S., the eMarketer report said.
Nol van Fenema