We don’t know about you, but sometimes managing your own website can be such an all-encompassing task that we fail to properly notice all the other trends, statistics and developments that are going on in other eCommerce industries across the world.
But which countries are king for eCommerce? What are the most popular markets? Which are most popular products online? What exciting developments can we expect? What does the future look like for eCommerce? Let’s take a look:
How much is sold on the web?
In 2012, eCommerce sales rose over the $1 trillion mark for the very first time, with $1.08875 trillion spent online across the world in 12 months, a rise of 21.9% on the year before. Plus, findings from the digital marketing research company eMarketer estimate that the amount will grow by another 19.3% in 2013.
What sells online?
The five most popular products online are currently: 1. Books 2. Clothing 3. Flights 4. Electronic appliances 5. Hotel booking
However, the growth in recent years of e-books, paid mp3s and media streaming websites has shown that non-physical media is an interesting sphere that will only grow in the next few years.
Which are the biggest eCommerce countries?
Having been responsible for the initial growth of eCommerce, it’s little surprise that the US still remains in first place when it comes to selling online. In 2012, the States accounted for $343 billion of online sales. However, the USA is looking somewhat nervously over its shoulder at the onrushing China and the rest of Asia, which continue to grow at an impressive rate. China accounts for 14% of all online sales worldwide with $181 billion spent every year, and that number is estimated to grow by some 65% in the next year.
Which areas are set to grow?
China, unsurprisingly, is top of the list. Although 220 million Chinese shoppers bought online last year (more than any other country) that number is set to double by 2016 as incomes rise in the country and access to the internet becomes more widespread. What’s more, the average Chinese national spent just $670 online in 2012, compared to the highest-spending shoppers here in Britain who each spent $3,585 on average, so as wages continue to grow, eCommerce in China will only do the same.
What eCommerce opportunities are there?
Because of this, it would not be surprising in the slightest for western websites to start concentrating on infiltrating the growing Chinese market, while Asian trends may also become more fashionable and more accessible for western tastes as a result. However, the process may well work both ways – huge Asian companies such as Alibaba (known as the Chinese Amazon) are also rumoured to be heading west.
Furthermore, while mobile has become increasingly prevalent in the west, it’s increasingly important for eCommerce sites to be smartphone-friendly, with apps, responsive design and content that appeals to people shopping online using their phone.