E-commerce 2021: The latest data and forecasts for all things online retail growth
It's interesting to look back at e-commerce growth over the last few years and think forward to the future of this industry. As demonstrated by these charts from Statistica, the overall percentage of E-commerce retail sales have certainly grown in the last few months, accounting for 16% of sales in the US in Q2 2020.
Equally, we have watched the overall percentage of E-commerce retail sales in the UK rising to nearly a third of all retail in the UK in May 2020 - it has since decreased slightly, but it will be interesting to follow this trend over this year, the holiday season, and into next year.
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Worldwide E-commerce by region 2021
The chart below from eMarketer's 2021 global e-commerce report breaks down regional e-commerce growth last year. Leading the way, Latin America grew 36.7%. We saw less growth in the Middle East & Africa, 19.8%, but this is still a commendable growth rate.
E-commerce sector growth: Which sectors have the largest share of total sales?
As we can see in the chart which depicts the state of play for online retail sectors in the UK, non-store retailers have come out on top of the e-commerce growth spurt. These sellers have been geared up from the start for the socially distanced retailing model now crucial to so many businesses. It's interesting to see that textile, clothing, and footwear stores are enjoying nearly a third of all online purchases in 2020.
The changing nature of e-commerce and growth
The pandemic and subsequent global recession have caused many marketers to go back to the drawing board. The following is taken from eMarketer's 2020 report:
"Before COVID-19, we had forecast that global retail would expand by 4.4%, to $26.460 trillion in 2020. For ecommerce, those figures had been 18.4% growth and $4.105 trillion in sales. However, we have decreased our retail forecast by over 10 percentage points and our ecommerce forecast by 2 percentage points. This reduced our overall outlook for retail ecommerce sales by $190.79 billion."
The latest e-commerce growth forecast from eMarketer suggests that globally e-commerce sales will increase to 16% of all sales in 2020. This is an increase of 19%.
This projection shows the growth in digital buyers. The declining percentage change shows that growth rates for e-commerce are declining, although they are still positive.
US E-commerce sales 2020
The US Government has been cataloging the trend of percentage of e-commerce sales for many years. The overall percentage of sales is not as high as might be expected.
In the 2nd half of 2020, US E-commerce sales averaged out at 14 percent of total sales
Note that the U.S. Census data counts cooked food, auto sales/repair, and vehicle fuel as part of retail, which understates the U.S. online share of retail compared to European estimates which exclude these.
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Centre for Retail Research
The Online Retailing: Britain, Europe, US and Canada research 2020 report from the Centre for Retail Research shows that the retail online retail sector is the main driver of growth in European and North American retailing.
UK IMRG data for e-commerce growth
The IMRG-Cap Gemini Index is only available for members who include the largest UK E-commerce and multichannel brands. It's useful for seeing sector-specific trends. Their most recent update, for example, shows these levels of growth:
• UK online retail sales in October 2019 reported year-on-year growth of +6.3%
• Month-on-month performance reported +6.4%
• Excluding travel and ticketing retailers, the market growth was a healthy +9.2% year-on-year
• Home was the top performer with +13.6% YoY growth
• Menswear and Womenswear struggled during October with negative growth