Business Transformation

Top 10 countries – leaders in e-commerce in 2021 globally

More and more consumers globally buy things online. This trend grew unexpectedly high due to Covid-19 expansion and the movement restriction measures that governments all over the world decided to implement. In 2021, China is expected to become the first country in the world where the value of online sales will exceed those in physical stores. China will retain – again this year – the role of the global superpower in e-commerce in terms of sales value.

China’s mature digital market will become the first in the world history since the digital sales channel will surpass the physical one. More specifically, in 2021 retail e-commerce sales share will represent 52.1% of total sales in the country. This performance is improved by 7.3% compared to the same period last year, when online sales accounted for 44.8%.

According to research by eMarketer, the course of e-commerce in the Chinese market is also impressive and certainly will extend beyond the current year. Predictions show that for 2022 the value of online sales will increase again, by 11% and will reach 55.6% of total retail sales in the country, amounting to a staggering amount of 3 trillion dollars.

Obviously, the pandemic has affected the expansion of the digital sales channel in the country. However, no one can deny the fact that the digital sales channel was also powerful before the expansion of the pandemic. Chinese citizens have a long tradition in online shopping, with trends such as trading through social networking platforms becoming extremely widespread.

Strong, but smaller is the online sales channel in South Korea, which follows China. Retail e-commerce sales share in the country will represent less than a third of sales in physical stores this year. In other words e-commerce sales will reach a total of 28.3%. This percentage is expected to increase to 31.6% in 2022 in South Korea.

The third country in the world with the highest percentage of online sales is Great Britain, where the online channel will represent 28.3% of total sales with eMarketer’s predictions talking about a small increase of this percentage to 28.5 % in 2022.

Great Britain is followed by Denmark, where 19.1% of total retail sales will be made electronically in 2021. Next comes Norway with 17.6% e-commerce sales share in 2021. The US ranks sixth in the list, as this year online sales will account for 15% of the total in 2021, a percentage that will increase to 16.3% in 2022.

The list with the ten countries in the world where the digital channel is more powerful are completed by four more European countries. Finland, Sweden, France and Spain with percentages of 14.3%, 13.2%, 11.2% and 10, 9% respectively in 2021.

China’s retail e-commerce sales will reach almost 3 trillion dollars this year with a 21% increase compared with 2020. Next comes USA where the retail e-commerce sales are expected to exceed 800 billion dollars in 2021 with a 6,1% increase compared with 2020. UK’s retail e-commerce sales will reach 169 billion dollars this year, while in Japan retail e-commerce sales will come up to 144 billion dollars during 2021. Next comes South Korea with an estimated amount of 120 billion dollars concerning the retail e-commerce sales during 2021. Retail e-commerce sales in Germany will exceed 100 billion dollars in 2021. France, India, Canada and Spain follow with smaller amounts of retail e-commerce sales during 2021. More specifically in France the amount of retail e-commerce sales will come up to 80 billion dollars in 2021 while in India will be a little less than 68 billion dollars in 2021. In Canada retail e-commerce sales will reach 44 billion dollars in 2021 and in Spain will reach 37 billion dollars.

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Maria Gourtsilidou
Maria Gourtsilidou is Senior Editor of Research and Data Analytics at the CEOWORLD magazine. She is responsible for driving thought leadership, using data analytics to showcase the company’s products and services, and fostering knowledge sharing between CEOWORLD magazine and client organizations. She studied Public Administration (Economics Of The Public Sector) in Greece and holds a Bachelor’s in Public Administration from the Panteion University of Political & Social Studies. Follow Maria Gourtsilidou on Twitter. Write at