Forecast: Global E-Commerce to Reach $1.4 Trillion by 2025

Euromonitor International conducted a study in October on the rise of e-commerce during the COVID-19 pandemic and found that 74 percent of worldwide retail and consumer brand experts believe the trend will become permanent. The study projected that between 2020 and 2025 half of the absolute value growth for the global retail sector will be digital, equating to $1.4 trillion. Of that, the United States and China will be responsible for 55 percent of the value growth. Latin America also experienced significant e-commerce growth in 2020.

Forbes reports that, in Latin America, “COVID-19 led companies to make bigger investments in digital, including developing the website experience, adding direct-to-consumer operations and partnering with delivery services” as well as relying on Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp and other social media platforms to “facilitate interactions.”

As a result, Latin America posted “the strongest growth of any region with a 60 percent jump in goods sold online in 2020.” According to Euromonitor, “Latin America [will] continue growing during the forecast period, propelled by Mexico, which is narrowing the gap between itself and the region’s largest e-commerce market, Brazil.”

It further reported that, “apparel and footwear is expected to drive the greatest absolute value growth over the 2020-2025 period, followed closely by food and drink.”

Apparel and footwear, which “felt the dramatic impact of the digital revolution over the last decade,” was hit hard by the pandemic, although “digital sales in the fashion industry are expected to continue their growth trajectory post-pandemic, increasing in both percentage share and actual terms.”

Euromonitor said, “the overall industry declined by 19 percent in 2020, with growth in the fast-expanding e-commerce channel slowing to 3 percent in 2021, down 20 percent from the previous year.” It is not expected to “reach pre-pandemic sales until 2024.”

Forbes notes that, “over the last decade, the digital revolution has given way to a more complicated and fragmented retail landscape … [with] marketplaces, direct-to-consumer brands, social commerce, live selling and voice commerce” examples of the diversity. A November 2020 study by Euromonitor revealed that, “of those working at retailers and consumer brands, 68 percent expect consumers will judge them more on their digital prowess post-pandemic.”

In an article published in January, eMarketer estimated that, in 2020, worldwide retail e-commerce sales “grew 27.6 percent for the year, for a total of $4.28 trillion … a substantial uptick from our mid-pandemic assessment of 16.5 percent growth.” But, it adds, “total worldwide retail sales declined by 3.0 percent, to $23.839 trillion.”

Among worldwide regions, “Latin America saw abnormally standout growth (36.7 percent), despite suffering worse-than-average declines in overall retail sales (3.4 percent drop) … [with] Argentina’s retail e-commerce [growing] by an astounding 79 percent last year.” It forecast a “downshift” to 14.3 percent growth in global e-commerce in 2021, while “overall worldwide retail will rebound to 5.1 percent growth in 2021.”

The Convergence Between AI, E-Commerce and an Optimized Experience, Forbes, 3/29/21
Google Aims to Be the Anti-Amazon of E-Commerce. It Has a Long Way to Go, The New York Times, 3/27/21
Investors Flock to European E-Commerce Startups Hoping to Take on Amazon, CNBC, 3/26/21
The Emerging Markets E-Commerce Opportunity, Brookings Institution, 3/26/21

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