This Year Next Year: E-Commerce Forecast

Brian Wieser

Retail E-Commerce Will Amount to $3.9 Trillion in 2020

E-commerce has been the winner in 2020 and there is a new plateau for newly accelerated future growth. CPG manufacturers, in particular, experienced a significant transition in how their products were bought, leading to a 277% increase in retail sales via e-commerce channels in 2Q20 alone.

In GroupM’s first-ever e-commerce forecast, we developed country-specific estimates of historical and forecasted consumer e-commerce spending within many of the world’s largest retail economies.

We estimate that global retail e-commerce—including automotive sales but excluding food and delivery services to ensure consistency across each market—will amount to $3.9 trillion in 2020 or 17% of equivalent global retail sales.

Understanding that context, here are the key takeaways from This Year, Next Year:
E-Commerce Forecast Report
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E-Commerce’s Future: the e-commerce boom has allowed us to estimate $10 trillion in retail e-commerce sales by 2027.

  • By 2024 retail-focused e-commerce will amount to $7 trillion in annual sales activity or 25% of retail sales at that time.
  • If growth continues at a low double-digit pace in subsequent years, then, by 2027, e-commerce sales would amount to $10 trillion globally.
  • Significantly faster rates of growth in e-commerce sales during 1Q20 and 2Q20; continued elevated sales in 3Q20 in both Canada and Australia.

Impact for Marketers: omnichannel strategies are increasingly important as e-commerce l continues to grow as people adopt and onboard online shopping in more product categories. It will also continue to grow as the very concept of retailing evolves.

  • Retailers are forced to re-think and adapt strategies for retail management, store layout and location, customer service and more.
  • Many also exploring social commerce, which is becoming an increasingly important component of a retail e-commerce strategy.
  • While automotive has adopted e-commerce during the pandemic, and we’ve previously advocated for that gap to be bridged more going forward, it’s unlikely they transition to an e-commerce-based business because consumers will have a low propensity to buy those categories online over the long term.