Skip to main content

Global eCommerce Sales, Trends and Statistics 2015

By September 2, 2015June 27th, 2018eCommerce Case Studies, Email Marketing

Have you ever wondered what time someone in the UK checks their email or what types of products the Chinese love buying online?

What about where the most global eCommerce sales actually come from? We did. And then we made an infographic about it.

global ecommerce sales infographic and biggest ecommerce markets trendDownload Infographic Here

Remarkety store owners and their agencies are located across the world, in some of the biggest markets with global eCommerce sales.

And what we love about the world – besides the livable atmosphere, gravity, water supply, etc. – is the subtle differences from market-to-market.

Our eCommerce marketing report, took into account the ten biggest eCommerce markets and the emerging markets where eCommerce is on the cusp on taking off.

We researched each country individually to find unique online retail shopping behavior along with email marketing trends, since email is our thing.

That’s not all.

We also looked at online marketing trends, mobile adoption trends, internet penetration and more.

Armed with a better understanding of eCommerce trends and online shopping habits in each of these countries is valuable for a few reasons.

For one thing, many online shops have customers in multiple countries.

When it comes to email marketing, we’ve touted the importance of segmentation. A lot.

Segmenting email messages by a customer’s country or geography means communication can be even more targeted and relevant.

In turn, there will be higher open and click rates. And more purchases.

Ka-ching noises.

Plus, online retailers considering moving into a new market or even emerging market will be able to make smarter decisions by understanding these trends.

Let’s dive into it.

10 Biggest Markets by Global eCommerce Sales

1. China
2. United States
3. United Kingdom
4. Japan
5. Germany
6. France
7. South Korea
8. Canada
9. Russia
10. Brazil

China eCommerce Market

China eCommerce Trends, Stats, Market Report InfographicChina is the biggest eCommerce market in the world with $562.66B in sales projected for 2015.

Factors like population contribute to their top slot.

Case in point, China has more than 600 million internet users.

And this is important if you are an eCommerce shop owner.

Shopping is the fastest growing online activity in China. Exciting news when considering different types of marketing campaigns targeted at your Chinese customers.

Email marketing is extremely lucrative.

75% of surveyed Chinese consumers were willing to buy something after receiving a promotional email of some sort.

Make sure the message is on point.

The average internet user in China is 25 years old, so think about tailoring a message to that millenial demographic.

Mobile Optimization is Key

Finally, more than 70% of customers will make a purchase on a smart phone so make sure your emails look good on mobile devices.

eCommerce Resources & Market Reports on China

5 Important eCommerce Trends in China
eCommerce in Asia

United States eCommerce MarketSize of US eCommmerce market and spending

The US comes in second with $349.06B in projected eCommerce sales in 2015.

Online Spending by Device

  • PC: 72%
  • Tablet: 13%
  • Smartphone: 15%

Though there are 191.1 million online buyers in the US, only 28% of small businesses are selling their products online.

Pretty crazy, no?

Even though only 28% of small business are selling products online, over half (57.4%) of the US public shop online.

Keep in mind these interesting eCommerce statistics when emailing and marketing to your US-based shoppers.

98.9 million Americans have purchased, at least once, on a mobile device.

While more Americans own a smartphone than tablet, they are more likely to purchase on tablet.

80% of people who shop on tablets will place an order on one. Only half of the people who actually shop on a smartphone will place an order on their phone, preferring a tablet or PC.

Lastly, most US shoppers place a strong value on the ability to check for product availability at brick-and-mortar stores near them.

This is where an abandoned cart campaign can do the legwork – especially if a coupon or incentive is offered. More about that here.

eCommerce Market Reports on USA:

5 eCommerce Trends You Should Know About
Online Retailing

UK eCommerce Market

UK eCommerce Spending InfographicThe UK is third on the list with $93.89B in projected online sales for 2015.

Online Spending by Device

  • PC: 71.4%,
  • Tablet: 12.1%
  • Smartphone: 16.5%

Online sales already make up 13% of the total UK economy and comprise over 14% of total forecasted retail sales. E-commerce is booming in the UK, which offers a lot of opportunities for your shop.

UK Online Shoppers Stats

UK shoppers primarily use PayPal, debit and credit when purchasing online so make sure your site is catering to plastic, not virtual currency like Bitcoin, Dogecoin, or COD.

Note, COD or ‘cash on delivery’ is still a thing in Russia, for example.

70% of UK consumers own a smartphone, but only about 16.5% of actual purchases are made on a phone.

Here’s a good one.

33% of online sales occur after 6 pm.

People apparently love buying stuff from the pub. This may or may not be a fact.

What is fact, however, is sending email in the late afternoon and evening will get more activity than earlier in the day.

This is slightly different than the trends we found in our study on the best days and times to send emails.

eCommerce Market Reports on UK:

Online retail expenditure in the United Kingdom
eCommerce: The United Kingdom

Japan eCommerce MarketSize of Japan eCommerce Market Infographic

$79.33B is Japan’s total projected online sales this year.

Penetration Stats

  • Internet Users: 79.9%,
  • Tablet Users: 10%
  • Smartphone Users: 55%

Nearly all Japanese internet users, which consists of 80% of the total population, shop online. It is the second favorite online activity after checking email.

Which is great news for all you eCommerce email marketers out there.

Recent studies say Japanese consumers have been spending more time at home than ever, which means less time shopping at department stores.

This is a huge opportunity for online retailers.

Most Japanese consumers buy online based on trust. They typically only buy from retailers with good reputations and reliable products.

To market to Japanese customers it may be beneficial to run feedback campaigns and grow product reviews so you can have those featured on your site and gain trust.

eCommerce Market Reports on Japan:

The New Japanese Consumer
Global eCommerce Japan

Germany eCommerce Market

Size of Germany eCommerce Market InfographicGermany is an European economic powerhouse and has $74.46B in projected online sales for 2015.

Online Spending by Device

  • PC: 72.3%
  • Tablet: 11.5%
  • Smartphone: 16.2%

85% of the population are internet users, but half of this online market though is dominated by Amazon and Otto, a German eCommerce shop that owns a whole lot of companies.

This makes it tough for small or new online shops to get a foothold in Germany, but there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Fashion is the most popular product category in Germany.

Thus, if you have a small fashion shop, you might be able to grow quite successfully in the German market.

While in the UK, email is primarily read in the evening, Germans read their email first thing in the morning.

Consider sending email campaigns before 9AM to see the best ROI.

Despite having a massive amount of internet adoption, Germany isn’t so big on Facebook’ing, Twitter’ing, InstaGram’ing and other social media websites.

They place much more emphasis on email. Only 17% of Germans check their Facebook first thing in the morning.

Germans love returning stuff.

Germany has an astronomically high return percentage with 50% of all orders getting returned.

Keep this in mind and include free shipping and returns, with labels in orders to keep your German customers happy.

eCommerce Market Reports on Germany:

Trends of German Consumers
eCommerce in Germany

France eCommerce Market 

French eCommerce Spending InfographicThis past year France had $42.62B in projected total online sales.

Online Spending by Device

  • PC: 80.8%
  • Tablet: 8.1%
  • Smartphone: 11.1%

Only 68% of the 66.2 million people in France are online user which is much lower than UK, USA, Germany and China.

The French also spend less per transaction than those countries.

Mobile sales, including the use of tablet and smart phone, jumped by over 50% from 2013-14 and continue to grow.

Again, it’s so important, in any country, to make sure your emails are mobile optimized and/or responsive so you shop doesn’t lose out on customers.

Except for maybe Brazil. More on that later.

eCommerce Market Reports on France:

eCommerce in France
Online facts and figures for France

South Korea eCommerce Market

South Korea eCommerce Spending Infographic$36.76B is the total for 2015 of projected online sales in South Korea.

Online Spending by Device

  • PC: 49%
  • Tablet: 1%
  • Smartphone: 50%

South Koreans, on average, own about five credit cards per person which is extremely high considering people in the US typically own two.

This explains why South Koreans have high debt.

That doesn’t mean they will buy just anything at just any price. If there’s a deal, sale or promotion, it will often go viral.

Also, having the fastest internet speed in the world probably doesn’t hurt.

Night owl shoppers.

As opposed to early bird Germans and evening shoppers in the UK, South Koreans are notorious night owls, shopping late into the night.

The most popular times for engagement are 10PM to 12AM so target these customers then.

Local South Korean products are up to nine times more expensive than prices overseas.

This could be why we see South Koreans purchasing a lot of American products.

Another interesting factoid worth noting is the low adoption rates of tablets. Thus, the low the online spending.

eCommerce Market Reports on South Korea:

Third largest retail eCommerce market
eCommerce trends and consumer insights in South Korea

Canada eCommerce Market

size of Canada eCommerce market by spending infographicCanada has $28.77B total in projected online sales this year.

Online Spending by Device

  • PC: 83.8%
  • Tablet: 7.5%
  • Smartphone: 8.7%

Unique to France, South Korea and Canada, a significant amount of eCommerce spending goes to non-native websites in the US, Asia and Europe.

The U.S. has stolen hockey from Canada and their customers.

So why are Canadians buying from non-Canadian companies? Prices.

Non-Canadian products, especially American and Asian products, are cheaper and offer a better selection as opposed to Canadian products.

Shipping costs in Canada are 3.6 times higher than the US.

This is important to consider when it comes to potentially offering shipping discounts to customers.

67% of Canadians who own smart phones have made purchases through their mobile devices.

As always, this makes it critical that emails are responsive.

eCommerce Market Reports on Canada:

Canada eCommerce trends
eCommerce facts and figures

Russia eCommerce Market

Russian eCommerce Spending Infographic

$20.30B is Russia’s total projected online sales for 2015.

Online Spending by Device

  • PC: 80%
  • Tablet: 12%
  • Smartphone: 8%

About 13% of Russian’s population is shopping online. Mostly to save money and time.

The most popular products purchased online are electronics followed by clothing and shoes.

There’s a problem with Russia.

Distribution is a massive barrier when it comes to Russian eCommerce.

Some areas don’t have high-speed internet, while other areas don’t have the infrastructure in place for deliveries.

As opposed to nearly every other country on this list, Russians prefer to pay with cash upon delivery.

Russians might not trust online payments, but they certainly don’t mind purchasing with a smartphone.

Roughly 39% of orders are generated from a smartphone.

eCommerce Market Reports on Russia:

eCommerce Russia trends
What you should know about eCommerce in Russia

Brazil eCommerce Market

Brazil eCommerce Trends, Stats, Market Report InfographicWith $18.80B in projected total online sales for 2015, Brazil is number ten on the list.

Penetration Stats

  • Internet Users: 53.7%
  • Online Shoppers: 33.4%
  • Smartphone Users: 29%

Economic instability within the country affects the growth of eCommerce and so do Brazilian companies themselves.

Many of the largest Brazilian companies have been extremely slow in connecting their digital and offline channels.

Only 7% of eCommerce sales are driven by smart phones, so responsive email templates might not matter so much, unlike in the larger eCommerce markets.

Brazilians primarily shop online for fashion which makes up about 18% of online retail.

When it comes to marketing, companies spend more on acquisition that retention.

This is why sending these four email marketing campaigns could really make your company stand out.

eCommerce Market Reports on Brazil:

Brazil Ranks No. 10 in Retail Ecommerce Sales Worldwide
More trends in Brazil’s eCommerce

Emerging Markets – India, Mexico, Middle East

The biggest emerging eCommerce market is India.

The India eCommerce market has grown at a rapid pace and will be the next major global market for eCommerce.

Though the internet usage in the country is only slightly over 10%, the number continues to grow steadily.

For shoppers, the popular products to purchase online are electronics and fashion.

Along with the number of online shoppers, the number of mobile users are growing as well.  In fact, the majority of shoppers are purchasing via mobile.

Shipping is a problem in India.

Much of the country is underdeveloped, especially in rural areas where delivery can be much more difficult.

Other emerging markets to watch out for are in Mexico and the Middle East.

Mexico is expanding particularly fast with projections of 15% growth in 2015.

The younger generations or millenials are a reason for this growth.

Appealing to that demographic is key for engaging with the internet users in those countries.

Keep these emerging markets in  mind when thinking about expanding your business and finding a new audience.

Know your customers

Different countries have different people.

We’re talking about habits, trends, what they’re buying and when they’re buying online.

Marketing messages, emails and conversion rates will all perform significantly better when customer demographics are taken into consideration.

We can help.

Using Remarkety for your automated emails and newsletters, you can segment your eCommerce customer lists, depending on what country they’re in, what they’re buying and so much more.

Wherever you’re sending from or wherever you’re sending to, Remarkety is your world wide email partner that works for you.

Don’t believe the cheesy rhyme? Keep reading some of our other articles you’ll most certainly find helpful:

How to write a marketing email
Best practices for targeting inactive customers
How to grow sales without coupons

We also just published an ultimate guide on abandoned cart emails with over 30 abandoned cart email examples from the biggest brands.abandoned cart email guide

Infographic design by Christina Ohanesian and Sam Jackson


    Get the latest articles on email marketing.