10 largest E-Commerce Markets in the World
By: Antonia Ava
The expansion and globalization of businesses across the globe have opened doors for many new opportunities and avenues of growth for other firms. Where the traditional retail consisted of brick-and-mortar stores, the age of the internet has changed this traditional system to a more advanced, online one known popularly as E-commerce.
E-commerce is a rapidly rising global force, engulfing the retail landscape and changing the way a consumer shops. With each passing day, new E-commerce markets are evolving, with new items being displayed for customers online. China, the commercial superpower, owns the largest E-commerce market of the world today and boasts of almost USD 672 billion in online sales every year.
China has been quick to embrace the changes in the E-commerce sector, introducing it even to remote areas. However, the recent lockdown (due to COVID-19) has affected the retail landscape, capsizing the physical retail system. Not surprisingly, as the pandemic inflation hit high, the consumer price index (CPI) jumped to 5.2% in February this year.
In order to deal with the business shutdowns and trade restrictions during the course of the pandemic, E-commerce sellers across the globe are considering changing their distribution and delivery systems, trying to figure out ways to get consumer’s attention through advertisements and discounts. Nevertheless, those E-commerce sellers wishing to expand to international markets need to have a sound strategy, along with having the support of a reliable agency that would deliver expert translation services swiftly and professionally.
Here is a look at the top E-commerce markets of the world that have attained the most success in this field.
Currently, China is the world's largest E-commerce market, headed by the E-commerce giant Alibaba group. This group has companies spread throughout China, such as Taobao, Tmall, and Alibaba.com, to name a few. The group has an annual growth rate of 35% and has operations outside China as well. Chinese E-commerce share of total retail sales has been estimated to be 15.9% last year. Not only that, but it is also predicted that the shopping industry of China is likely to jump to 20.1% in 2020.
To support this figure, consider the revenue produced by E-commerce from 2019 to 2020—almost 22%. This is mainly due to the lockdown situation (owing to the COVID-19 pandemic), whereas people are preferring to shop online instead of going to physical retail stores. E-commerce and online sellers have also been quick to take advantage of this situation, offering attractive discounts and group buying deals to consumers through live streaming online.
The United States is the second biggest E-Commerce market in the world, having ruled the E-commerce world for a long period of time. Headed by Amazon and E-Bay, the E-commerce market of the US is set to prosper in the coming future. This could be ascertained by the fact that the annual online sales in the US are nearly USD 340 billion whereas its E-commerce share is estimated to be 7.5% of the total retail sales.
Regardless of its small size, the United Kingdom is a vast E-commerce performer and has been successful in securing its position in third place on the largest E-commerce market list of the world. Amazon UK., Argos, and Play.com are known to be the UK.'s top E-commerce websites, with an E-commerce share of 14.5% of total retail sales. Not only that, the online sales figure of the UK posts an astonishing figure—almost USD 99 billion.
Japan’s E-commerce market is at the fourth number on the list of top E-commerce markets in the world. Rakuten is the leading E-commerce platform in Japan that has successfully expanded its operations worldwide over the past years. Japan’s E-commerce market has an online sales of USD 79 billion per annum and its share of the total retail sales are estimated to be nearly 5.4%. Additionally, Japan is the pioneer in the field of M-commerce (mobile commerce) that is the future of E-commerce in the coming days.
Europe's second-leading E-commerce market which comes after the U.K is Germany. Amazon is quite popular in Germany and has an appreciable market share. Other players in the German market are native online retailer Otto and eBay. The country’s online sales are about USD 73 billion and its E-commerce share of the total retail sales is approximately 8.4%.
The French E-commerce market holds the 6th position in the large E-commerce world. Odigeo and Cdiscount are local companies that lead the French E-commerce market. Like other popular European E-commerce markets, Amazon has an appreciable market share in France as well, but the local brands have somehow managed to maintain their positions over their U.S. counterpart in the country. Almost USD 43 billion goes in online sales annually in France and its share in the total retail sales is 5.1%.
South-Korea is a nation that consists of the highest wireless internet speed and holds 7th place on the world’s largest E-commerce list. South Korea is also one of the prominent M-commerce markets of the globe. The names of famous e-commerce companies in South Korea are Coupang and Gmarket. This country’s annual report of online business is USD 37 billion and E-commerce share is around 9.8% of the total retail sales.
Canada is considered a massive E-commerce market in the world but with a small rate of competition. Amazon also dominates the Canadian E-commerce market, which is led by Costco. This E-commerce market falls at the 8th number of the largest E-commerce market list of the world. This country’s yearly online sales business is nearly USD 30 billion and its E-commerce share of total retail sales is 5.7%.
The Russian E-commerce market which is listed at the 9th place is currently at the developing stage. Nevertheless, Russia has the biggest population of internet operators in Europe, but its online sales business stands at just about 2% of total sales. Ozon, Citilink, and Ulmart are the largest online retailers of the state. Russia’s online sales business is almost about USD 20 billion per annum.
Brazil is the only South American state on the list that contains a very decent E-commerce progress of almost 22%. Brazil is the 10th largest E-commerce market in the world and is definitely on the sensor of North American online retailers. Recently, many local companies such as B2W and MercadoLibre seem to be leading the E-commerce pathway in Russia. Its annual online sales business is USD 19 billion whereas its E-commerce share of total retail sales is about 2.8%.
The Last Word
While the world embraces new technology and advances, one thing that cannot be denied is that E-commerce and online sales are here to stay. With the rise in usage of the internet, many other countries are emerging as potential E-commerce markets in a very short period of time, estimated to surpass the markets mentioned in this article. It has also been predicted that in the year 2020, the Internet of Things (IoT) will affect the global E-commerce market, and according to some predictions, more than 70% of trades will take place through IoT by the end of 2021.
With these rising figures, it would be unwise to stay behind in the race for global growth, especially if you own a retail business. In order to make your online sales a huge hit, all you need is a strong strategy, a feasible business plan, and the support of a reliable agency that can provide you with expert E-commerce translation services for your content. Only then, it is possible to make a name for your business in the ever-shifting retail landscape of the world.