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Global E-Commerce Surpasses $1 Trillion

Posted by jtolman to Articles on February 13th, 2013

No other industry has been able to match the numbers found in international e-commerce.”

Global e-commerce has recently reached a financial milestone:  the trillion dollar mark.  Although we all knew it was coming, actually moving beyond this mark makes everyone take notice.  This virtual medium has been able to consistently drive revenue throughout the past 5 years with an average growth rate of 13%.  No other industry has been able to match the numbers found in international e-commerce.

There was a 21.9% growth rate in 2012 alone according to eMarketer, and there is yet another quickly approaching milestone on the horizon.  2013 is the year that China will surpass Japan to become the world’s second-largest e-commerce market after the United States.  China’s nearly 220 million online shoppers are expected to double by 2016, and China will have the greatest number of online shoppers of any other country.  For now, in 2013, China will account for 14% of global online sales while the US will account for 29.6% of all online sales.

Although technology is decreasing the gap between developed and emerging markets, emerging markets are quickly reaching critical growth points that previously took longer to attain.  Even still, certain developed market consumers are spending more per individual order.  The UK, Australia, and Norway are the top 3 big spenders when it comes to Average Order Values.  British and Australian shoppers have an average order value of over $3,500.  This is relative to China who has an average order value of $670.  Researching consumer behavior in your target market is critical to success.

Substantial growth is available through online commerce.  There is no question that the opportunity is there.  Retailers must be sure their website responds consistently to shoppers accessing their online store via mobile or tablet technology from wherever they may be located.  International e-commerce has no cap on the growth potential, but the key to success is entering into these lucrative markets as prepared as possible.  This is an ongoing effort between technology and market research to create a positive customer experience that takes into account the varying traits of consumer culture when expanding into international markets.

The US Commercial Service recently completed a useful webinar on the subject of attracting international buyers to your website.  You can view the webinar here.


Sarah Lee is a Marketing Associate for Bongo International.  Follow Bongo International on Facebook and Twitter, too!

Bongo International is the fastest growing international e-commerce solution designed to help US-based merchants expand their business to the global market. Their modular approach enables them to create a custom international solution for each US retailer.They screen all international shoppers to prevent fraudulent orders, resulting in an impressive 0.0% fraud rate throughout company history.

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