If you are reading this then you probably have chosen ecommerce as your business. Good choice. The field is expected to grow through 2016 although the rate of growth will slow.
According to eMarketer in a study performed in March 2012, sales for 2013 are expected to increase by 14.2% over 2012 to $256 billion; for 2014 it will rise 13.2% over the previous year to $289.3 billion; 2015 will witness an increase of 12.2% over 2014 to $289.8 billion;and 2016 spike 11.3% over the year before to $361.9 billion. Sales figures are only for the U.S. Global sales for 2013 is expected to rise 19.4% over 2012 to $963 billion. Europe is expected to account for $283 billion; Asia $323.1 billion; and the rest of the world is projected to account for $121.7 billion.
Interactive Media Retail Group (IMRG), an online retail trade association based in the U.K., says that the United States is the world’s single biggest ecommerce market followed by the U.K. and Japan. IMRG predicts that the U.K.’s and Japan’s markets will jump about 10% to 15% a year.
China is the surprise in global online e-sales. IMRG says that country will experience growth of 130% a year. It is therefore obvious that it won’t take China long to become the single largest emarket in the world.
Looking at the world in regions, studies from the European Multi-Channel and Online Trade Association shows that Europe is currently the largest ecommerce market worldwide. The continent’s web business to consumer sales shows 19% growth to $307 billion, passing North America with sales of $297 billion.
IMRG says that France, Italy, Spain, Russia, Turkey, and Poland will be the fastest growing emarkets in Europe. It also forecasts significant growth in Latin and South America thanks to Brazil and Mexico. Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will lead growth in the Middle East.
Meanwhile the rise of mobile sales thanks to the increased use of smartphones and tablets has made an impact on ecommerce, according to eMarketer. Mobile sales jumped 81% in 2012 to a total of $25 billion. That accounts for 11% of all ecommerce sales. The company predicts that mobile will account for 15% of all ecommerce sales in 2013.
Clark Fredricksen, vice president of eMarketer, warned that ecommerce retailers need to take mobile more seriously. He noted that mobile is still a small portion of total ecommerce sales. Still, it is becoming more important as a shopping device. He points out that more consumers are starting the shopping process on a smartphone.
In addition, eMarketer gave a nod to tablets as another device making an impact on ecommerce. In fact, it says that tablets will account for the most in mcommerce sales during the next four years because they provide a better shopping experience than smartphones. eMarketer forecasts that in 2013 consumers will spend $24 billion shopping on tablets. Sales are expected to be $34 billion in 2014 and $61 billion in 2016.
The smartphone is actually influencing how people shop. Instead of taking long shopping trips, consumers are using smartphones for shopping minutes throughout their day. eMarketer encourages web retailers to figure out ways to accommodate shoppers using smartphones to supplement their total online sales.
Because of the nature of the beast ecommerce retailers in the U.S. can reach out to online consumers in China, the U.K., France, Italy, Spain, Russia, Turkey, Poland, Brazil, Mexico, Israel, and the UAE — all countries that are predicted to lead the growth of sales in their regions.
Yes, it is a good time to be a web retailer and it will continue to be good for the next several years.