Global ecommerce tops $1trillion – UK consumers biggest online spenders

How much do we all spend online globally? Well this year, according to research from emarketer e-commerce sales worldwide broke the $1 Trillion mark for the first time. To put that into some sort of context, $1 trillion is roughly the entire GDP of Indonesia or 20 year’s of revenue (at current values) for Google Inc.

Despite the worldwide slump and recession hitting many countries, 2012’s Global e-commerce spend saw a growth of 21%. The three biggest nations, in terms of total spend were USA, UK and Japan, with China set to take second place over the next couple of years. In terms of region growth, Asia Pacific, with a surging China and newly active Japan, is set to overtake a recession hit western Europe.

country online spend ecommerce

The UK’s online Dominance

It goes without saying that the US would have the highest e-commerce sales in the world. But more surprising is the UK’s online sales prominence as the largest online economy in Europe and the third largest in the world. By 2013 it is estimated that UK online sales will be almost 3 times more than Germany’s. This is astounding, based on the fact that Germany has a bigger economy generally, a larger population and better estimated GDP growth figures over the next couple years.

UK – Biggest online Spenders – per person

It seems that the consumer mindset in the UK to shop online, is much maturer than that of the rest of Europe. Or perhaps much more frivolous.

Here in the UK, we would happily purchase a holiday or a second hand car online whereas those larger purchases are less common in the rest of Western Europe. So much so that on average the UK digital buyer spends more than in any other country in the world, with Australia coming a close second. This year the spend per head is expected to reach $3,878, which is twice as much as Japan, and more than Germany and France put together. The latter two countries on average spend less than Spain and Italy – two countries that have experienced recessions this year.


largest spend per person online global


China online spend to surge in 2013

In 2011 the UK B2C sales were double that of China’s ($109 Billion to $57 Billion), but In 2013 China will jump ahead of UK by $40 Billion in B2C sales ($142 Billion to $182 Billion). The increase in online sales in China is just staggering and will most probably be palpable. The spend per head per year is still relatively low (just $501 for 2012), but it’s the sheer number of people and integration with technology and the emergence of availability of broadband which is pushing this massive increase.

Note: Table 1 is from emarketer link above. Article by Sam