Online shopping or ecommerce had witnessed a slowdown post the recession. The sudden boom in the first decade underwent a slump because of lower consumer spending. As major economies emerged from the recession and consumer spending strengthened over the years, online sales have grown by leaps and bounds.
The United States, the United Kingdom, Germany and China, the four major markets of ecommerce have expanded and grown exponentially. Australia is now recording double digit growth and would continue to witness the same for another three to four years before stagnating a little. Canadians have become far more serious about online shopping. It is expected that in three to four years, Canada’s online sales would account for almost 10% of all its retail sales. Presently, it is at 6%. This is in sharp contrast with a very successful ecommerce market, the United Kingdom, where online sales account for 20% of all retail sales. In the United States, the share is in double digits.
Erstwhile emerging markets are now becoming dominating forces in the global ecommerce space. India is exploding. Japan and South Korea are established markets already. The Netherlands, Sweden, France, Spain and Italy are growing at a healthy pace and even Switzerland, Denmark and Norway, all of whom were rather late comers to the ecommerce phenomenon have started recording healthy growths.
This is good news for many businesses. The large online market places such as Amazon and eBay seems set to continue on a growth curve helping small businesses to offer their services to an ever larger international customer base. The international courier services that deliver their orders worldwide should also benefit from this trend, seeing a growth in both the need for sending parcels to USA and for local delivery.
While there is a long way for ecommerce to surpass the omnipresence and omnipotence of brick and mortar retail, it is being anticipated that one fifth of all retail sales would be accounted for by online spending in the world over the next ten years. According to a report published by OC&C Strategy Consultants in conjunction with Google and PayPal, the online sales across four major markets, ala the UK and the US, Germany and China will be worth £645 billion by 2018. That is a whopping growth of £320 billion.
The growth of ecommerce augurs well for established brands and startups as people look for better products at better prices delivered right at their doorstep.