According to a new eMarketer report, “Worldwide Retail E-commerce Sales: The eMarketer Forecast for 2016”, total retail sales across the globe will reach $22.049 trillion in 2016, up 6.0% from the previous year. eMarketer estimates sales will top $27 trillion in 2020, even as annual growth rates slow over the next few years.
Marketer includes sales across all retail channels in its estimates for total retail sales. This includes sales from e-commerce retailers and transactions that occur over consumer-to-consumer (C2C) platforms such as eBay and other auction sites; and sales by motor vehicle and parts dealers and by gas stations. Travel, event ticket and restaurant sales are excluded from eMarketer’s forecast.
Retail e-commerce sales—which include products and services (barring travel, restaurant and event ticket sales) ordered via the internet over any device—will reach $1.915 trillion in 2016, accounting for 8.7% of total retail spending worldwide. While the pace of growth for overall retail sales is subdued, the digital portion of sales continues to expand rapidly, with a 23.7% growth rate forecast for 2016.
eMarketer expects retail e-commerce sales will increase to $4.058 trillion in 2020, making up 14.6% of total retail spending that year.
Asia-Pacific will remain the world’s largest retail e-commerce market throughout the forecast period, with sales expected to top $1 trillion in 2016 and more than double to $2.725 trillion by 2020. The region will also see the fastest rise in retail e-commerce sales, climbing 31.5% this year.
Expanding middle classes, greater mobile and internet penetration, growing competition of e-commerce players and improving logistics and infrastructure will all fuel e-commerce growth in the region.