E-Commerce Takes Bigger Bite Out of Overall Retail Sales, Reaches $4 Trillion Globally by 2020

Growth in worldwide retail e-commerce continues to outpace overall retail sales and will account for nearly 16 percent of retail revenue globally in 2020, according to a new report from eMarketer. Retail e-commerce, which the research firm expects to grow nearly 24 percent this year compared to 2015, will continue its torrid growth through 2020, reaching more than $4 trillion in annual sales. eMarketer expects retail e-commerce to reach $1.9 trillion this year, accounting for 8.7 percent of more than $22 trillion in global retail sales in 2016. The New York City-based research firm said e-commerce’s growth rate will slow slightly over the next five years—moderating from 23.7 percent year-over-year growth this year to nearly 19 percent in 2020—but its share of total sales will continue to grow steadily as overall retail growth rates remain flat. Much of the global growth will come from Asia, the report said.

“Asia-Pacific will remain the world’s largest retail e-commerce market throughout the forecast period, with sales expected to top $1 trillion in 2016 and more than double to $2.725 trillion by 2020,” eMarketer said in Worldwide Retail E-Commerce Sales: The eMarketer Forecast for 2016 . “The region will also see the fastest rise in retail e-commerce sales, climbing 31.5 percent this year. Expanding middle classes, greater mobile and Internet penetration, growing competition of e-commerce players and improving logistics and infrastructure will all fuel e-commerce growth in the region.”