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Ecommerce Around the Globe: Penetration Hits A Critical Milestone in 18 Countries

There’s often a perception that markets in Asia developed digital offerings far faster than the US and Europe—that’s only partially true in retail.

Looking at when each market hit 10% of retail sales—a gauge for ecommerce going mainstream—two cohorts emerge:

  • A group of three early ecommerce leaders.
  • A large group of countries where the pandemic tipped the scales in favor of digital channels.

The UK, China, and South Korea led in global ecommerce penetration for 10 years

The UK—not China—was the first to shoot past the 10% milestone in 2012. The early shift to online grocery helped establish the UK as the digital leader in Europe. Even today, there’s a significant gap between the digital penetration in the UK and other countries across the region.