Ever wondered which country reigns supreme as shoppers around the world are busy clicking and buying on their desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones?

Online shopping is on the rise worldwide:

  • 63 percent of people shop online at least once a month

  • 23 percent shop online at least once a week

And, almost two-thirds of shoppers expect to make more online purchases this year than they did in 2017, according to the latest Episerver report, Reimagining Commerce, Global Findings 2018.

Technology makes shopping a borderless experience, enabling consumers to effortlessly browse and purchase products online from almost any country and have them shipped directly to their homes. But which country wins the Gold Medal in today’s online shopping Olympics?

The Winner is…China

With more than 1.3 billion citizens living in China, this Asia-Pacific power is one of the most dynamic markets in global retail overall. So, it’s not surprising that it is also the fastest growing market in online retail.[i]

What’s the single biggest online shopping day in China? “Singles’ Day” which falls on November 11th. As the name suggests, the holiday is a day for singles to celebrate their relationship status. Despite being an unofficial holiday, Alibaba (China’s version of Amazon) saw record sales of $25.4 billion on Singles Day in 2017.[ii] In comparison, Amazon’s Prime Day sales topped out at $4.19 billion on 2018, up from $2.41 billion in 2017.[iii]

With recorded sales of approximately $630 billion in 2015, China’s online retail market is the world’s largest, nearly 80 percent bigger than the United States’. [iv]eCommerce in China accounts for 13.5 percent of all retail spending, a higher share than that of all the largest economies except the United Kingdom.[v]

While globally, almost one-third of customers make a domestic purchase online on a weekly/monthly basis, two-thirds of customers in China report the same regularity of online purchasing.[vi] 

The U.S. Takes Home the Silver

Credit Jeff Bezos’ Amazon for driving the bulk of eCommerce shopping in America. Close to two-thirds of Americans now say they’ve bought something on Amazon, according to a June 2018 NPR/Marist poll.[vii] That is 92 percent of all of America’s online shoppers!

According to Internet Retailer, American shoppers “spent $453.46 billion on the web for retail purchases in 2017, a 16.0% increase compared with $390.99 billion in 2016. The bulk of eCommerce gains stemmed from the growth of web leader, Amazon.com Inc., as the behemoth continues to gain loyalty among U.S. consumers and take market share from other merchants in multiple categories.”[viii]

The U.S. continues to see growth in eCommerce sales quarter after quarter. The latest quarterly eCommerce Report from The U.S. Census Bureau released on August 17, 2018 for the second quarter saw sales of “$127.3 billion, an increase of 3.9 percent from the first quarter of 2018. And the second quarter 2018 eCommerce estimate increased 15.2 percent year-over-year for the same quarter in 2017.”

The fact that technology is a big part of daily life has allowed American and Chinese consumers to enjoy products shipped to them from countries thousands of miles away. New business services are emerging each and every day reducing costs for buyers to sell and shoppers to buy, so it is no wonder that global eCommerce sales are expected to eclipse $2.8 trillion this year.[ix]

But China and the U.S. are only two of the top shopping powerhouses driving online sales. Which countries come in at #3, #4 and #5?  More on that coming soon.

In the meantime, if you want to know which countries’ consumers would most likely buy your product, we can help. Contact us!

[i] https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/cn/Documents/cip/deloitte-cn-cip-china-online-retail-market-report-en-170123.pdf

[ii] https://www.cnbc.com/2017/11/11/singles-day-china-shopping-festival-smashes-record-at-the-halfway-mark.html

[iii] https://www.digitalcommerce360.com/article/amazon-prime-day-data/

[iv] https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/retail/our-insights/how-savvy-social-shoppers-are-transforming-chinese-e-commerce

[v] https://www.bigcommerce.com/blog/global-marketplaces/

[vi] https://www.eshopworld.com/top-5-countries-cross-border/

[vii] https://www.npr.org/2018/06/06/615137239/what-americans-told-us-about-online-shopping-says-a-lot-about-amazon

[viii] https://techcrunch.com/2018/07/13/amazons-share-of-the-us-e-commerce-market-is-now-49-or-5-of-all-retail-spend/

[ix] https://www.episerver.com/globalassets/assets-website-structure/resources/guides-and-reports/episerver-reimagining-commerce-report-2018.pdf