Top 10 eCommerce Markets by Country

Isaiah Bollinger

Isaiah Bollinger

The global eCommerce market continues to expand annually.  Internet availability in more regions means new markets are constantly emerging, while the growth of online sales in existing markets continues to increase with no signs of slowing down.  Here we take a look at the top 10 countries for eCommerce sales around the world.
All sales are  for 2014 and % increase is the change from 2013. All data courtesy of emarketer.comTravel websites and event tickets are not included as part of retail numbers.

1. China

Sales: $426.26 billion
Increase: 35%
Top online retailer: Alibaba
eCommerce sales as % of total retail sales: 10.1%
China’s eCommerce growth has exploded, coinciding with the massive sales of the world’s largest online retailer, Alibaba. A 35% increase from 2013 is double the growth of every country on this list with the exception of Brazil and Germany. China is estimated to double the United States eCommerce sales numbers by 2018.

2. United States

Sales: $305.65 billion
Increase: 15.7%
Top online retailer: Amazon
eCommerce sales as % of total retail sales: 6.5%
Coming in number two to China is a trend the U.S. is going to have to start getting used to. eCommerce sales still continuing to rise at a healthy rate and the eCommerce sales as a percentage of total retail sales are estimated to reach nearly 10% by 2018.  There is a massive gap after China and the U.S. which properly demonstrate the two superpower’s dominance of the retail market compared with the rest of the world, at least for now.

3. United Kingdom

Sales: $82.00 billion
Increase: 16.5%
Top online retailer: Amazon
eCommerce sales as % of total retail sales: 13.0%
Despite being third on this list, there is still a well over $200 billion difference when compared to the United States. Interestingly enough, the U.K. boasts the highest percentage of online sales compared to total retail sales at 13%. A big reason for this can be explained by the diverse geography of the U.K. and the efficient shipping methods of Amazon, which holds a large market share across the countries making up the U.K.

4. Japan

Sales: $70.83 billion
Increase: 14.0%
Top online retailer: Rakuten
eCommerce sales as % of total retail sales: 4.9%
Japan’s eCommerce sales are led by online behemoth Rakuten, not just the largest online retailer in Japan, but also one of the largest in the world. Rakuten has interests in several other countries, including the United States, the U.K., Spain and Canada. They also provide services in many areas beyond online retail sales, such as banking services that include loans and mortgages, travel websites, brokerage services for securities and even managing professional sports teams. Rakuten also just recently finalized a $410 million purchase of U.S. e-book marketplace OverDrive, as it looks to gain traction in the digital content arena.

5. Germany

Sales: $63.38 billion
Increase: 22.1%
Top online retailer: Amazon
eCommerce sales as % of total retail sales: 7.3%
Germany comes in at number 5 on this list, but also has the second largest percentage of growth from 2013, trailing only China and barely beating out Brazil. They are also the fourth highest on this list in terms of percentage of retail sales coming online.  Amazon is the largest eCommerce site in Germany where it has had a foothold since 1998. Recent employee strikes this past December are something to watch for as Amazon does not deal with unions and prefers to deal directly with employees, whereas unions remain a fundamental part of German culture.

6. France

Sales: $38.36 billion
Increase: 12.1%
Top online retailer: Odigeo
eCommerce sales as % of total retail sales: 4.6%
The French eCommerce market is led by Odigeo, the largest travel company in France and one of the biggest in the world. For the purpose of this list, travel websites are not considered part of the retail industry, yet despite the largest eCommerce company from France being a travel site, France still comes in at number 6 globally. Amazon is also prevalent in France, but they do not report their French sales numbers publicly. Estimates put Amazon’s numbers at 1.5 billion Euros per year which would place them within the top 5 of French eCommerce sites.

7. South Korea

Sales: $33.11 billion
Increase: 13.o%
Top online retailer: Coupang
eCommerce sales as % of total retail sales: 9.0%
South Korea has the third highest percentage of retail sales coming online at 9%. Online giant Coupang has taken advantage of the high Internet speeds that South Korea has to offer, which are the highest wireless speeds in the world. Only four years old, Coupang’s CEO has called his company the “Amazon of South Korea.” By focusing on creating a top of the line mobile site and app, along with fast and efficient delivery times, Coupang is a company on the rise and one of the fastest growing eCommerce companies in the world.

8. Canada

Sales: $24.63 billion
Increase: 17.4%
Top online retailer: Amazon
eCommerce sales as % of total retail sales: 5.2%
Amazon has a strong hold on the Canadian eCommerce market  with 7% of Canada’s total eCommerce sales for 2013.  Amazon has had a big lead on Canada’s limited competition having been online there since 2002. Other prominent online sites include Costco, which is second behind Amazon in Canada’s online sales and Wal-Mart which plans to invest heavily to expand their online presence in Canada and globally as well.

9. Russia

Sales: $17.47 billion
Increase: 16.0%
Top online retailer:
eCommerce sales as % of total retail sales: 2.2%
Russia is the number one country in Europe in terms of Internet users with 59% of the adult population having Internet access as of the beginning of 2014, according to Yet, despite this widespread Internet access, eCommerce sales make up barely more than 2% of  the total retail sales. With Russia’s large population this number is poised to grow and is expected to more than double this year with heavy expectations in the next 5-10 years. It is not far-fetched for Russia to leapfrog several countries on this list in the coming years as its eCommerce sector begins to grow and online payments and transactions become more trusted. Russians pay cash on delivery more than any other method for their online transactions as they do not trust the security of online payments.

10. Brazil

Sales: $16.28 billion
Increase: 22.0%
Top online retailer: B2W Digital Inc.
eCommerce sales as % of total retail sales: 3.8%
Brazil is the only Latin American country to make this list. Double digit growth is expected to continue and as Internet usage and delivery services expand there will be an increase in the eCommerce market for many Latin American countries as well. Brazil’s poor infrastructure makes delivery difficult and impossible in many areas of Brazil, which directly affects the eCommerce market in a large way. B2W is the largest online retailer not only in Brazil, but all of Latin America as well. It has recently acquired multiple logistics companies in Brazil that specialize in deliveries in order to increase the efficiency and overall delivery capabilities in more areas of the country.

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