Ecommerce Tallies Nearly 6% In Global Retail Market

For all its convenience and efficiency, the Web is hardly replacing the physical retail experience for shoppers.

Worldwide, ecommerce will account for only about 5.9% of the total retail market in 2014  or $1.316 trillion — according to new estimates from eMarketer.

U.S. consumers appear to be particularly attached to brick-and-mortar shopping. By 2018, while 70% of the U.S. population will make purchases online, only 8.9% of U.S. retail sales will come from digital transactions, eMarketer predicts.

“Despite a majority of U.S. consumers making purchases online, more than $10 out of every $11 spent on retail items will occur in stores,” a new report from eMarketer explains.

The other two largest ecommerce markets  China and the UK  both have much higher proportions of online-to-total retail sales, according to eMarketer.



For example, digital buyers — consumers who have purchased online at least once in the past year — will comprise 43% of China's population in 2018, while one-sixth of all retail dollars will transact via the Web. This points to the fact that consumers in China who buy online do so often, eMarketer notes.

The United States and China are by far the world’s leading ecommerce markets, combining for more than 55% of overall ecommerce this year.

However, China's growth over the next five years will widen the gap between the two countries, and the world power will exceed $1 trillion in ecommerce sales by 2018 — for more than 40% share of global ecommerce.

The United States is expected to maintain its position as the second-largest ecommerce market in 2018, totaling nearly $500 billion that year, while the UK will come in at a distant third with about one-quarter of that figure.

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