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Global B2C E-Commerce grows at 20% annually, with growth in Asia outpacing other regions

19. March 2013
One billion persons are expected to make a purchase online in 2013.
Global B2C E-Commerce grows at 20% annually, with growth in Asia outpacing other regions

The recent "Global B2C E-Commerce Market Report 2013" by Hamburg-based secondary market research company yStats.com provides information about the global B2C E-Commerce market. Among the many findings disclosed in the report is that the region of Asia is set to overtake North America in terms of total online sales.


According to this new report, Internet users now account for one-third of the world population and one billion persons are expected to make a purchase online in 2013. Globally, the leading product categories for online purchases are apparel and accessories, books and travel reservations. In addition to these findings about the global picture, the report provides details about the development of B2C E-Commerce in single countries and regions.

In the United States, a growing trend is M-Commerce, shopping online through the use of mobile phones and tablet computers. The product categories most purchased online in the USA are books, movies and music, and apparel and fashion accessories.

Canadian B2C E-Commerce has seen strong growth in recent years, fueled by online coupons and discounts. Double-digit growth is expected in the Canadian market over the next years.

Because of the recent run-up in Internet use and online purchases in Brazil, future year-on-year growth rates are expected to decline. By 2015, it is likely that nearly 40% of Internet users will also shop online. Leading B2C E-Commerce players in Brazil are mass merchants CompraFacil, B2W and Nova Pontocom. Meanwhile, in neighboring Argentina, growth rates of B2C E-Commerce sales are also expected to decline.

In Chile, a regional leader in terms of per capita spending online, the purchase of travel services and the use of coupons are important trends. E-Commerce is growing rapidly in Colombia, as reflected in the increasing number of Internet users as well as the amount spent online per capita. In 2012, mass merchants Melocompro.com.co and Megastore.com.co were leading players in B2C E-Commerce in Colombia.

In Mexico, low credit card penetration has been a challenge for B2C E-Commerce. However, new payment options are helping consumers in Mexico to buy online, so double-digit growth rates are expected for the future.

In the UK, the share of online sales on total retail sales exceeded 10% in 2012, even though the year-on-year growth rates are expected to decline from 2013 onwards. Amazon.co.uk, Argos.co.uk and Tesco.com are leading B2C E-Commerce players in the UK.

Led by online sales giants Amazon.de and Otto.de, B2C E-Commerce revenues in Germany increased by double-digit growth rates in recent years. The leading product categories for online sales are apparel and media, music and pictures.

Similar to other major markets, online sales in France are expected to face decreasing growth rates, as more than three quarters of Internet users have already shopped online, especially for travel services.

The B2C E-Commerce market in Italy grew by more than 20% in 2012, but future growth rates are expected to be lower.

Spain continues to see growth in online sales, with revenues of more than 20 million Euros expected in 2016. Holiday accommodation and travel services are among the most popular product categories for Spanish online shoppers.

Led by furniture online shop Ikea.com and mass merchant Ellos.se, B2C E-Commerce sales in Sweden have increased at double-digit growth rates in recent years.

While Russia has the largest number of Internet users in Europe, the share of online sales on total retail sales remains a low single-digit percentage. Many foreign companies and investors have entered the Russian E-Commerce market in recent years, but mass merchant Ozon.ru and food and drug online retailer Utkonos.ru were the leading players in terms of online sales.

Mass merchants such as Alza.cz, Mall.cz and Kasa.ca likewise dominate the B2C E-Commerce market in the Czech Republic, where “Clothes and Footwear” and “Tickets” were leading online product categories.

“Clothing and Footwear” also was a leading online product category in 2012 in Poland, where price comparison sites, sites with user opinions and group-buying sites are trends among online shoppers.

In Turkey, where nearly half of the population accessed the Internet in 2012, the online market is led by mass merchant Hepsiburada.com, private shopping website Markafoni.com, and consumer electronics online shop Teknosa.com.

Despite recent growth, potential remains for B2C E-Commerce expansion in Asia-Pacific

Decreasing growth rates for B2C E-Commerce are expected in Japan through 2016, and consumers are increasingly using smartphones for purchases. Mass merchants Rakuten.co.jp, Amazon.co.jp and Nissen.co.jp are leading online shops in Japan.

Meanwhile, in South Korea, the share of B2C E-Commerce on total retail sales has reached 6%, with “Travel Services” and ‘Clothes and Fashion” categories leading, through mass merchants such as Gmarket.co.kr and 11st.co.kr.

Seeing remaining potential in China, foreign online retailers entered the E-Commerce market in 2012, but Chinese companies remain in the lead. By 2016, it is expected that more than 700 million people, half the population of China, will access the Internet, and the number of internet shoppers will grow.

In India, B2C E-Commerce sales are expected to grow by more than +20% annually within the next years. However, B2C E-Commerce only accounts for less than 1% of total retail sales there.

In 2012, more than 80% of the population of Australia used the Internet, and more than 50% of Australian consumers made a purchase online. Double-digit annual growth rates in online sales are forecasted through 2016.

Internet use and confidence in online shopping is increasing in Saudi Arabia. In the nearby UAE, online shoppers are increasingly purchasing from regional websites, using credit and debit cards as the most popular payment methods.

At one point in 2012, a survey showed that more than 20% of Internet users in Egypt also pay bills or shop online. In Morocco, more than half the population used the Internet in 2012. Moreover, Internet use by one third of the population of Nigeria is forecasted for 2013, with wireless broadband spreading in the country by 2015.

Finally, the new yStats.com report shows that B2C E-Commerce is on the rise in South Africa, with coupon websites and travel being especially popular.


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