Worldwide Retail E-Commerce Sales Will Reach $1.915 Trillion this Year

Retail e-commerce sales will account for 8.7 percent of total retail spending worldwide.

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In 2016, total retail sales across the globe will reach $22.049 trillion, up 6 percent from the previous year. eMarketer estimates sales will top $27 trillion in 2020, even as annual growth rates slow over the next few years, as explored in a new eMarketer report, Worldwide Retail E-Commerce Sales: The eMarketer Forecast for 2016.

eMarketer includes sales across all retail channels in its estimates for total retail sales. This includes sales from e-commerce retailers and transactions that occur over consumer-to-consumer (C2C) platforms, such as eBay and other auction sites, and sales by motor vehicle and parts dealers, and by gas stations. Travel, event ticket and restaurant sales are excluded from eMarketer’s forecast.

eMarketer has lowered its projections for overall retail sales since its previous forecast in December 2015, mainly due to low oil prices and negative currency effects. The U.S. dollar has risen against most major currencies and, as a result, the value of retail sales denominated in U.S. dollars is down across all markets in eMarketer’s forecast. Persistent low oil prices also continue to have a profound effect on retail sales value in countries where gasoline takes up a large share of retail sales, including the U.S., the U.K., Canada, France, Singapore and others.

Retail e-commerce sales—which include products and services (barring travel, restaurant and event ticket sales) ordered via the Internet over any device—will reach $1.915 trillion in 2016, accounting for 8.7 percent of total retail spending worldwide. While the pace of growth for overall retail sales is subdued, the digital portion of sales continues to expand rapidly, with a 23.7 percent growth rate forecast for 2016.

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