Come 2013, global revenues from online retail sales will cross the $1trn (£813bn) barrier, getting an extra push from the expected jump in Internet user numbers. This is what the Interactive Media in Retail Group (IMRG) believes and has put down in its Global e-Commerce Overview 2012, where the UK-based industry association also gives its estimate on the size of the global e-commerce market in 2011.
According to the report, consumers around the world spent $690bn online last year, which translates into growth of almost 20% compared to 2010. At the close of 2011 there were some 2.2 billion Internet users worldwide and IMRG predicts that the number will shoot up to around 3.5 billion by 2013.
The US continues to lead the country rankings in terms of e-commerce market size, with the UK and Japan coming next in the table. B2C online sales in these three countries are forecast to register annual growth of between 10% and 15%. However, a serious contender is rising in the east and it may not be long before the US loses its crown. As you are likely to have guessed, the challenger for the title is China, where online sales in 2011 surged by more than 130% last year.
Looking at the prospects by region, IMRG expects the fastest growth in Europe to occur in France, Italy, Spain, Russia, Turkey and Poland. Latin America and the Middle East are also forecast to enjoy a significant increase in online retail sales, with growth in the former fuelled by Brazil and Mexico and the latter powering ahead thanks to Israel and the UAE.