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How Digital Commerce Will Transform Global Retail

After two years of collecting data from payment networks, payment processors, financial institutions, digital wallet providers and retailers worldwide, 451 Research has launched its Global Unified Commerce Forecast. Here's a summary of their findings.

"The confluence of new technologies, new entrants and new consumer demands has catapulted retail into a state of flux," said Jordan McKee, research director at 451 Research. "These market shifts are influencing not only the way in which shoppers choose to obtain their desired goods and services, but also how and where they spend their money."


Digital Commerce Market Development

Their new research report provides quantitative guidance on these shifts in purchase activity in developed and emerging markets around the world. Among many findings, the latest 451 Research market study found several unique trends that will transform the retail sector in the years ahead.

One out of every ten dollars spent globally this year will be spent online.

Consumers are increasingly turning to online and mobile channels to make retail purchases that they traditionally would have made in-store in prior years -- thanks to new online purchasing experiences like click-and-collect and mobile order-ahead.

According to their global forecast, online commerce will continue to expand with speed through 2022, growing at more than six times the rate of in-store sales and cresting at $5.8 trillion.

China has become an e-commerce and m-commerce powerhouse in recent years, rapidly evolving into the world’s largest market for digital sales.

That said, the forecast predicts that China will exceed $1 trillion in online retail spending by year-end, making it the first country in the world to cross this significant digital commerce milestone.

Mobile has already become the primary computing platform for the world’s population, and by 2019 it will become the top digital commerce platform for consumers around the globe.

Mobile will increasingly be the first, and often the only, touchpoint retailers will have with a shopper.

Sales executed via mobile contactless payment methods -- such as Apple Pay and Google Pay -- are growing at an impressive 30.7 percent CAGR through 2022.

However, to keep this in perspective, consider that they will account for just 1.4 percent of global brick and mortar in-store retail sales in 2018 and reach only 3.8 percent by 2022.

According to 451 Research, their Global Unified Commerce Forecast is intended to become an annual market-sizing, segmenting and forecasting of omni-channel commerce across 60+ countries.

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