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E-commerce worldwide

Over the last few years, e-commerce has become an indispensable part of the global retail framework. Like many other industries, the retail landscape has undergone a substantial transformation following the advent of the internet, and thanks to the ongoing digitalization of modern life, consumers from virtually every country now profit from the perks of online transactions. As internet access and adoption are rapidly increasing worldwide, and with close to five billion global internet users, the number of people making purchases online is ever-increasing. In 2021, e-retail sales surpassed 5.2 trillion U.S. dollars worldwide, and this figure is only expected to reach new heights in the coming years.

Market leaders in the world of e-commerce

Internet users can choose from various online platforms to browse, compare, and purchase items or services they need. While some websites specifically target B2B (business-to-business) clients, individual consumers are also presented with a vast number of digital possibilities. As of 2021, online marketplaces account for the largest share of online purchases worldwide. Leading the global ranking of online retail websites in terms of traffic is Amazon.

The Seattle-based e-commerce giant that offers e-retail, computing services, consumer electronics, and digital content registered over 5.6 billion direct visits to its .com website in May 2022. In terms of gross merchandise value (GMV), however, Amazon ranks third behind Chinese competitors Taobao and Tmall. Both platforms are operated by the Alibaba Group, the leading online commerce provider in Asia.

Mobile is boosting e-commerce traffic

One of the most visible trends in the world of e-commerce is the unprecedented usage of mobile devices. In 2021, smartphones accounted for over 70 percent of all retail website visits worldwide, and in turn, also generated the majority of online orders compared to desktops and tablets. As the adoption of mobile devices is progressing at a rapid pace, especially in regions that lack other digital infrastructure, mobile integration will continue to shape the shopping experience of the future. M-commerce is particularly popular across Asia, with countries like South Korea generating up to over 72 percent of their total online transaction volume via mobile traffic.

What do global digital shoppers have in common?

While online shoppers differ greatly depending on their respective regions around the world, there are general indicators that help with understanding basic digital consumer behavior. Leading marketplaces serve as source of inspiration and main platform for product online search before the actual purchase. Even though the online shopping experience is less interactive than the in-store one, online shoppers appreciate the ease and flexibility of e-commerce. Regardless of the online retail category, having products delivered home is the most popular way to receive online orders, compared to other pickup options.

In the Business-to-Consumer (B2C) universe, fashion and consumer electronics are among the top e-commerce verticals to date and contribute to the largest share of online retail sales. In the two sectors, e-tailers invested to engage consumers and provide them with better services.

Published by Daniela Coppola, Sep 27, 2022

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