IMRG released the results from a comprehensive market study of the e-commerce potential for every region in the world. Their report, the "IMRG B2C Global e-Commerce Overview 2012" also focuses on 15 of the most developed up-and-coming e-commerce countries in detail -- identifying trends, issues and opportunities in each.
Total B2C e-commerce sales in 2011 are estimated to have grown to €690 billion (£599bn, $961bn), an increase of close to 20 percent.
IMRG estimates that growth will continue in the coming years, passing the trillion-euro mark in 2013 -- that's a year earlier than forecast in the first edition of this report published last year.
The world leader in B2C e-commerce remains the USA, followed by the UK and Japan. Asia-Pacific is continuing to power ahead in terms of growth, with China’s e-commerce market in particular rising over 130 percent in 2011.
The mature markets in the world such as USA, UK and Japan will continue to grow slightly slower, but still in double digits between 10-15 percent. France, Italy, Spain, Russia, Turkey and Poland will be the fastest-growing markets in Europe.
IMRG forecast substantial growth in Latin America, led by Brazil and Mexico and the Middle East, led by Israel and UAE.
The number of internet users at the end of 2011 was estimated to be around 2.2 billion and is forecast to reach close to 3.5 billion in just a couple of years -- that's around 50 percent of the world's population.
As the number of internet users grows and users get more and more confident in purchasing online, the number of e-shoppers is set to grow rapidly.
In addition to the well-established markets, this report examines the e-commerce potential in the BRICS countries (Brazil, China, India, Russia and South Africa) as well as the MIKT countries (Mexico, Indonesia, Korea and Turkey) which have excellent economic futures and will in the coming years be amongst the leaders in internet and e-business.
Aad Weening, Head of International at IMRG and author of the report, said: “The future of e-retail is global and with the inevitable slowing of growth in several major markets in the likes of North America and Europe, it is important for businesses to understand where the future opportunities will be."
Worldwide we are increasingly seeing trust and confidence in purchasing online growing and government and private initiatives brought in to support the development of the global networked economy.