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Industry forecasts only see upward growth for global eCommerce; Continued to be fueled by pandemic response

A recent slate of industry reports are touting global ecommerce growth numbers fueled by shifts in behavior due to the pandemic and efforts by retailers to serve a positive customer experience in response.

This eMarketer report focuses on the Pandemic Push to Online and highlights that all markets experienced record high growth of double-digits and China emerged as the dominant ecommerce market in the world with the U.S. close behind.

  • Ecommerce sales will continue to grow by double digits through 2023 and make up an increasing share of total retail sales worldwide. By 2023, we project worldwide retail ecommerce sales will total $6.169 trillion and make up a 22.3% share of total retail sales, up from $3.351 trillion and 13.8% in 2019.
  • China has by far the largest retail ecommerce market, accounting for a 52.1% share of total worldwide sales. The US has the second-largest market but makes up a far smaller share than China, at 19.0%. The rest of the world’s ecommerce markets each make up less than a 5% sales share.
  • In 2020, all 32 tracked markets recorded high growth in ecommerce. All markets recorded double-digit growth except Argentina, which had triple-digit growth.
  • Worldwide ecommerce sales will continue their upward trajectory, reaching $7.385 trillion by 2025 and making up a 24.5% share of all retail sales.

Retail Insider focused on North America and highlighted Canada’s response to the pandemic and re-enforces that many consumers were forced to cross a chasm and rely on online shopping more than ever before, winning over new customers and revenue for retailers.

  • “…the overall growth in ecommerce that occurred in Canada in 2020 was astounding. In fact, according to Insider Intelligence’s Canada Ecommerce Forecast 2021, retail ecommerce in the country grew by an astronomical 75 percent last year.”
  • Growth that Paul Briggs, Principal Analyst, Canada at Insider Intelligence, believes will continue to be driven, at least in part, by the removal of traditional barriers to online shopping that existed prior to the pandemic.

“We’ve certainly just experienced a period of rapid ecommerce acceleration, he says.” The pandemic really moved things forward, ahead of what the previous trajectory was prior to COVID. A lot of retailers across the country already had plans in place to implement digital and omnichannel retail in order to meet growing consumer demand. Their timeline for this implementation may have been 18 months or 2 years out. But lockdowns and restrictions made online shopping the only option for many essential goods, forcing retailers to advance their plans to digitize their retail options. And, because people in certain demographics who may have been reticent to shop online and leverage digital channels prior to the pandemic have since done so, and have become comfortable with the option, many of the impediments to that behavior have been overcome and will continue to make it easier for those particular demographics to continue to shop in that way.

eConsultancy released a round-up of data points to illustrate how the pandemic has impacted, and continues to impact, the ecommerce industry. Findings in the UK echo sentiments from Total Retail’s Canadian market, finding UK consumers shifting to online purchases of items normally bought in-store. The report also highlights verticals expected to see continued growth, such as beauty, which is showing eye-popping stats compared to in-store.

  • Netimperative reports research findings from ChannelAdvisor and CensusWide which reveal 91% of 304 ecommerce CMOs surveyed believe their brand’s revenue will grow over the next 12 months beginning August 2021.
  • Beauty is expected to experience rocket-level growth… “Having experienced huge acceleration over the past 18 months, the health, beauty and personal care product category is expected to see even more rapid growth over the course of the next five years, WARC reports. Its sister company, Edge by Ascential, has revealed that sales of such products are expected to grow three times faster in online settings than they are in in-store settings by 2026.
  • Analysis from UNCTAD has found global ecommerce sales rose to $26.7 trillion in 2020, making up 19% of all retail sales (up from 16% in 2019). This increase in share, which the UN has called ‘dramatic’, is reflective of the huge worldwide shift towards online shopping since the onset of coronavirus.
  • A 2021 report from Retail Economics and Natwest has found that, since the pandemic began, nearly half (46%) of UK consumers have purchased a product online that they had previously only ever purchased in store.

Along with all this ecommerce growth comes exploration of new and expanded strategies for a more robust ecommerce stack to better drive customer experience and revenue. Third-party marketplaces are quickly emerging as a solution to a multitude of retailer and brand needs.

Are you interested in learning how a third party marketplace can help your company drive high growth and add revenue to your bottom line? Get in touch here.

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