Global ecommerce insights — a worldwide market and sales outlook

Global ecommerce insights — a worldwide market and sales outlook

As the digital revolution picks up pace, the boundaries of trade and commerce have not just expanded, they have been completely reimagined. It’s abundantly clear that the world businesses are selling into today is not the same as yesterday.

In this article on the global ecommerce market, we delve into the ongoing growth seen around the globe to understand its origins and help you uncover its greatest opportunities.

The rise of the global ecommerce market

Ecommerce may not be new in many parts of the world, but online shopping is steadily displacing in-person shopping in established markets while also becoming increasingly common in emerging markets.

In 2015, worldwide retail ecommerce drove approximately $1.5 trillion in sales. Fast-forward to 2025, and that number is expected to top $7.5 trillion. Meanwhile, more shoppers are looking beyond their borders to find the goods they want and need.

In 2022, 57% of shoppers shopped internationally, and 2 in 5 said they’d purchased something from a new international website in the past 3 months.

Drivers of global ecommerce growth

Although shopping had already been trending this way, the global pandemic greatly accelerated the global shift toward ecommerce. According to an IBM study conducted in the US, the pandemic sped up the move away from physical stores toward digital shopping by about five years.

It’s the increasing shift in other countries, however, that will truly alter the global ecommerce landscape in the next decade, creating massive opportunities for businesses to expand their global reach. Despite already seeing incredible growth in recent years, emerging markets — in Latin America, Southeast Asia, Africa, and beyond — are becoming increasingly digitized. And with the rising penetration of next-generation connectivity infrastructure and smartphones, the digital payment methods these technologies enable for previously unbanked and underbanked populations will also continue to significantly expand.

Global ecommerce opportunities — in mature and emerging markets

Growth in global ecommerce sales is opening a world of opportunities for today’s businesses.

In mature markets such as China, the world’s largest ecommerce market, robust growth continues virtually unabated. Sales in the Chinese ecommerce market reached an estimated $2.8 trillion in 2022, more than twice the value of the US market — which is the next largest in the world. A booming middle class made up largely of millennial consumers possesses a significant interest in foreign goods, offering businesses the potential to establish lasting relationships with younger shoppers.

India — already the world’s sixth-largest ecommerce market — has seen widescale adoption of smartphones in recent years — however, the penetration rate for its population of over 1.4 billion reached just over 66% in 2022. This is a market with much room to grow. This is a big reason why the Asia-Pacific region will see more retail ecommerce sales than the rest of the world combined by the end of this year.

There’s no shortage of expansion opportunities around the globe, and not just in the largest markets. For example, Latin American countries, led by Argentina, Mexico, and Brazil, are experiencing accelerated growth.

By 2025, Latin America is expected to see over $160 billion in annual retail ecommerce sales — more than triple the value of its pre-pandemic sales in 2019.

International customers value a personalized and localized journey

More customers are coming to rely on personalized digital experiences as online consumers. For global ecommerce businesses, there is good news with this expectation — 49% of customers say that personalization builds trust, which means that investments in personalization technologies pay off.

But the quality of personalization also matters — 70% of customers feel that poor personalization decreases their trust in a brand.

It is also important to act like a local — a poor experience due to lack of localization can lead to abandoned carts. Ecommerce sites should be culturally relevant and authentic, and when it comes to the checkout experience that means offering local payment methods and local currencies. Almost 80% of shoppers prefer to make a purchase on sites that show prices in their local currencies, and nearly half would cancel a purchase if their preferred payment method wasn’t offered.

The value of partnerships for global ecommerce expansion

The potential for international growth is exciting, but actually capitalizing on those opportunities is easier said than done. With global expansion comes expanded risks and complexities, such as tax and compliance hurdles, logistical challenges, and new customer expectations.

With the help of the right global partners, businesses can accelerate their speed to market, eliminate risk and complexity, and meet evolving customer expectations.

Digital River and Adobe recently announced Digital River’s selection as an Adobe Platinum Technology Partner, with key joint solutions that drive faster, risk-free, global ecommerce expansion at scale. Together, Adobe and Digital River enable brands to convert more ecommerce customers while accelerating and simplifying international revenue growth.

With Adobe Commerce, organizations can create personalized ecommerce experiences with dynamic content, AI-powered search, and custom product offerings.

Digital River can take on the financial and legal responsibilities of selling online around the world as the merchant of record. With one integration to cover global payments, tax, fraud, compliance, and logistics needs, businesses can confidently expand globally in today’s international market.

To learn more about how Adobe Commerce and Digital River can accelerate your business’s global expansion, visit our partner page.

Ted Rogers started at Digital River in 2017 and brings a unique perspective to the business, with past roles spanning from marketing to credit and fraud to operations. He served first as VP and general manager of MyCommerce, then VP of global expansion and fulfillment operations, and VP of strategic marketing before being named chief marketing officer. His focus lies in communicating Digital River’s value and driving growth for customers and partners by taking a global, scalable and quantitative approach to marketing. Rogers has an extensive background in ecommerce and marketing management, serving as a marketing executive in the industry for over 20 years. Prior to joining Digital River, he held a variety of leadership roles at FICO, Bluestem Brands, Inc., and PayCheck Direct.