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Global Ecommerce 2020

Ecommerce Decelerates amid Global Retail Contraction but Remains a Bright Spot

About This Report
Global retail ecommerce sales will decelerate to a 16.5% growth rate in 2020. Even as consumers transitioned en masse to ecommerce during the pandemic, the drag caused by multiple recessions internationally has reduced the overall outlook.
Table of Contents

Executive Summary

As consumers across the world faced various quarantines and business closures due to the pandemic, internet users turned to ecommerce in unprecedented numbers to acquire basic goods. Nonetheless, ecommerce momentum will be uneven this year.

What does the global retail ecommerce forecast look like for 2020?

Global retail ecommerce sales will decelerate to a 16.5% growth rate in 2020 (down from 20.2% last year). We anticipate a collective $3.914 trillion in ecommerce sales this year. Most countries will still see strong growth, but two large markets, India and China, will decelerate substantially compared with recent years.

How did the pandemic impact the estimates?

Before COVID-19, we had forecast that global retail would expand by 4.4%, to $26.460 trillion in 2020. For ecommerce, those figures had been 18.4% growth and $4.105 trillion in sales. However, we have decreased our retail forecast by over 10 percentage points and our ecommerce forecast by 2 percentage points. This reduced our overall outlook for retail ecommerce sales by $190.79 billion.

Which countries will have the strongest ecommerce growth?

Headlined by the Philippines, Malaysia and Spain, nine countries are projected to see more than 20% growth in retail ecommerce sales this year. Each of these countries were hit hard by the coronavirus, and several of these figures represent a substantial acceleration over 2019.

Which regions stand out?

Asia-Pacific and North America lead the regional totals for both retail and retail ecommerce sales. Asia-Pacific will account for 42.3% of retail sales worldwide, North America will capture 22.9%, and Western Europe will make up 16.2%. For ecommerce, China’s dominance means that 62.6% of all digital sales will take place in Asia-Pacific. North America and Western Europe are distant trailers, at 19.1% and 12.7%.

WHAT’S IN THIS REPORT? This report features our latest forecasts for retail ecommerce, mcommerce, social commerce, digital buyers and regional trends for ecommerce globally.

KEY STAT: For both retail and retail ecommerce, the story is the same: Sales in China and the US greatly impact overall global sales metrics. China’s $2.090 trillion in ecommerce means that Asia-Pacific will produce 62.6% of all digital sales ($2.448 trillion for the region overall).

Here’s what’s in the full report


Exportable files for easy reading, analysis and sharing.


Reliable data in simple displays for presentations and quick decision making.

Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary
  2. An Overview of the 2020 Global Ecommerce Forecast
  3. The Top Global Ecommerce Markets
  4. Ecommerce Channels by Market
  1. Digital Buyers by Market
  2. Spotlight on Asia-Pacific
  3. Key Takeaways
  4. Read Next
  1. Sources
  2. Media Gallery


Ethan Cramer-Flood


Whitney Birdsall
Cindy Liu
Senior Forecasting Analyst
Rini Mukhopadhyay
Forecasting Analyst
Shelleen Shum
Director, Forecasting
Peter Vahle
Forecasting Analyst
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