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Global ecommerce to reach USD 1.9 trln in 2016

The global retail ecommerce sales are expected to reach USD 1.915 trillion in 2016, accounting for 8.7% of total retail spending worldwide.

Retail ecommerce sales include products and services (barring travel, restaurant and event ticket sales) ordered via the internet over any device. While the total global retail sales is going to reach USD 22.049 trillion in 2016, up 6.0% from 2015, the digital portion of sales continues to expand rapidly, with a 23.7% growth rate forecast for 2016, emarketer.com reports.

According to a new eMarketer report, “Worldwide Retail Ecommerce Sales: The eMarketer Forecast for 2016”, retail ecommerce sales will increase to USD 4.058 trillion in 2020, making up 14.6% of total retail spending that year.

Asia-Pacific will remain the world’s largest retail ecommerce market throughout the forecast period, with sales expected to top USD 1 trillion in 2016 and more than double to USD 2.725 trillion by 2020. The region will also see the fastest rise in retail ecommerce sales, climbing 31.5% in 2016.

The bulk of retail ecommerce will come from China, where sales are expected to reach USD 899.09 billion in 2016, representing almost 47.0% of all such sales worldwide. In Southeast Asia, ecommerce still represents only a fraction of total retail sales. An underdeveloped digital payments infrastructure and a weak logistics framework have made these markets unprepared to handle high volumes of ecommerce orders and have kept ecommerce at a nascent stage.

Retail ecommerce sales in North America will rise 15.6% in 2016 to reach USD 423.34 billion. The region will see consistent double-digit growth through 2020, fueled by increased spending from existing digital buyers, expansion into new categories such as grocery, and growing mcommerce sales. eMarketer estimates sales will top USD 27 trillion in 2020, even as annual growth rates slow over the next few years.

For total retail sales, eMarketer includes sales across all retail channels in its estimates. This includes sales from ecommerce retailers and transactions that occur over consumer-to-consumer (C2C) platforms such as eBay and other auction sites; and sales by motor vehicle and parts dealers and by gas stations. Travel, event ticket and restaurant sales are excluded from eMarketer’s forecast.

eMarketer has lowered its projections for overall retail sales since its previous forecast in December 2015, mainly due to low oil prices and negative currency effects. The US dollar has risen against most major currencies, and as a result the value of retail sales denominated in US dollars is down across all markets in eMarketer’s forecast. Persistent low oil prices also continue to have a profound effect on retail sales value in countries where gasoline takes up a large share of retail sales, including the US, the UK, Canada, France, Singapore and others.

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