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Global E-Commerce Sales to Top $4 Trillion in 2020

As markets evolve and consumers favor e-commerce, total retail sales, including online purchases, are on the rise.

According to a new eMarketer report, global online retail sales will peak at $1.915 trillion this year and rise to $4.058 trillion in 2020. Total international retail sales will reach $22.049 trillion in 2016, which is a 6 percent increase from 2015. Although annual growth rates will slow over the next four years, eMarketer projects that total international retail sales will exceed $27 trillion in 2020.

For this report, eMarketer evaluated sales across multiple retail channels for its total international retail sales estimate. Sales studied included e-commerce retailers, consumer-to-consumer (C2C) transactions on auction platforms including eBay, plus motor vehicle sales and gas stations sales.

EMarketer has decreased its overall retail sales projections since December 2015, due to negative currency effects and low oil prices. The forecast projected that the value of U.S. dollar retail sales will be down internationally, in addition to the fact that low oil prices will alter retail sales value in many nations dependent on gasoline retail sales. Countries including Canada, France, the U.S. and the U.K. will be impacted by this situation.

Throughout the report’s four-year forecast, Asia-Pacific is expected to remain the world’s largest online retail market. E-commerce sales are expected to exceed $1 trillion this year and reach $2.725 trillion by 2020. China will fuel this growth, since it represents 47 percent of all retail e-commerce sales internationally. Asia-Pacific will also experience a 31.5% rise in e-commerce sales in 2016, due to greater mobile and Internet penetration, improved logistics and expanding middle classes.

North American retail e-commerce sales are also expected to reach $423.34 billion this year, making this region the world’s second largest online retail market. Over the next four years, e-commerce sales in North America will grow as a result of more digital buyers and mobile commerce engagement.