The e-commerce sector is widely projected to be the biggest retail channel several years from now. Euromonitor International believes that the sector will reach that status in 2-3 years. By 2021, e-commerce is projected to account for 14 percent of total retail sales.
A closer look at the numbers, however, show that future adoption of e-commerce is growing at different speeds worldwide. In Asia Pacific, the sector is already the biggest retail channel with a penetration rate of 13 percent. But it is still not getting any headway in Western Europe.
E-commerce in Asia Pacific
The sector is already the biggest retail channel in this region thanks to its robust growth in two major economies– China and South Korea. The former is the biggest market of online stores worldwide. In 2016, it was estimated that 17 percent of total retail sales in the country came from the online commerce sector. It was also during that year when the online market sector of China surpassed its counterpart in the US to become the biggest in the world.
South Korea, on the other hand, has been a bastion of the online retail industry for more than five years. In 2013, the industry accounted for a high penetration rate of 11 percent. This was due to having an advanced digital structure and a population that embraces the latest technology.
E-commerce in North America
The digital revolution has also been big in North America. It is projected that by 2020, the e-commerce sector will become the largest retail channel and account for 16 percent of retail sales. Retailers in the United States and Canada have steadily been working to eliminate friction in the sector, focusing on innovations such as multiple delivery options such as pick up in stores and same day delivery.
E-commerce in Western Europe
Surprisingly, the growth of the e-commerce sector in Western Europe has been sluggish. Except for countries like United Kingdom, Denmark, and Finland, other countries won’t likely be riding on the online craze at least within the next half decade.