Do you remember the first DM you received from a potential customer asking if you ship to Germany? Or South Korea? Or Brazil. If you were surprised to learn you had fans and potential customers in these locations it might be time to take a broader look at the opportunities that exist for reaching new markets in 2021.
2020 was a challenging year across the globe because of the Coronavirus pandemic. But it also accelerated the adoption of eCommerce, creating a new industry boom.
From July to September 2020, US consumers spent $199.44 billion in online purchases. This was an eCommerce market size increase of 37.1% from the $145.47 billion spent in online purchases in Q3, 2019. Going forward, eCommerce sales growth across the world is projected to grow to 6.54 trillion by 2022, as shoppers spend 36% of their budget online!
So, where are the biggest opportunities for merchants?
In this article, we give you a rundown of the top eCommerce markets to target, tips for cross border shipping, and how Easyship can help you go global.
Why 2021 is the time to expand globally
If you have been thinking of going global in your eCommerce business, there has never been a better time -2021 is the Year! And for good reasons:
- eCommerce is booming like never before. Part of this has been due to the covid-19 situation that has forced people to figure out and change their purchasing behavior to online shopping.
- The technology is also just ready. According to Insider Intelligence, mCommerce or mobile shopping reached $284 billion in 2020, which is 45% of the total US eCommerce market size (talk about eCommerce sales growth). With Smartphone penetration increasing by the day, this is only expected to continue. Nobody will need to rush to a Cyber Cafe or use a laptop or desktop to complete a purchase. They can do it on the go with their mobile devices!
- Streamlined cross-border shipping: Shipping times and costs have improved greatly. That means delivery times will play a key role for eCommerce retailers selling abroad. Here, you need to work with a reputed eCommerce and logistics company like Easyship so that you can rest assured that your orders will keep flowing from your store to your customers overseas without delays. We partner with 250+ affordable shipping couriers and a network of fulfillment centers across the world to help you drive down shipping costs and shipping time.
10 eCommerce Destinations for Merchants to Sell Into for 2021
Naturally, you’ll want to know the top eCommerce markets so you know how to scale globally as a merchant. No worries. We’ll give you an eCommerce ranking rundown so you know where to sell.
China is the biggest and top eCommerce market in the world, with annual online sales of $672 billion. Over the last decade, China's retail sales have expanded rapidly and retained an above-average year-over-year growth rate of 27.3% worldwide —hence why eCommerce ranking is as high as it is. Then again, China’s eCommerce market size is unquestionably huge.
In 2019, China's total eCommerce sales growth surpassed the combined total of Europe and the US, with the country's share of the total online retail sales in the world being more than 20%.
While there are tough restrictions when it comes to importing goods in China, the country still has the largest digital buyer population in the world, and it is one of the top eCommerce markets to target — all due to the country’s considerably large eCommerce market size.
After being overtaken by China's eCommerce market size, the US is now the second-largest eCommerce market in the world. According to Statista, US online retail sales hit $343.15 in 2019, and are projected to hit $476.5 billion by 2024 — talk about eCommerce sales growth!
Top-selling items include books, music, video, computer & consumer electronics, toys & hobby office equipment & supplies, apparel & accessories furniture & home furnishings, and health & beauty products.
The tax threshold for imports is also pretty generous at $800, making it less likely for consumers to pay additional tax or duty for overseas shipments. The United States might have been overtaken by China due to its eCommerce market size, but it’s still continuing to grow.
The United Kingdom's eCommerce ranking sits at third among the top eCommerce markets in the world. Its annual online sales amount to $99 billion, which is 14.5% of the total eCommerce retail sales in the world. Amazon U.K, Play.com, and Argos are the top eCommerce retailers that make the UK a key eCommerce player. Popular product categories in the UK include fashion, travel, household items, and sporting goods.
With the VAT changes after Brexit, there will be some new complications for merchants looking to move into the UK market, so it’s advised to plan properly.
Japan is among the largest, and also the fastest-growing eCommerce markets in the world. While originally dominated by B2B transactions, the B2C market in Japan has doubled within the last decade. There is also considerable growth in the C2C market.
JP Morgan estimates that the Japanese B2C eCommerce market is worth over $100 billion. eCommerce sales growth is expected to continue to expand at an annual growth rate of 6.2% to reach $112.465 billion in 2021 and $143. 297 billion by 2025. Perhaps even Japan's eCommerce ranking may change, but only time will tell.
Germany is a top eCommerce market with plenty of cheap shipping options that you can expand your business into this year. It ranks as the second-largest eCommerce market in Europe, and fifth in the world. Its annual online sales are estimated at $73 billion, which is roughly 8.4% of the total eCommerce retails sales worldwide.
Needless to say, Germany is a top eCommerce market due to its eCommerce market size.
Statista estimates an annual eCommerce sales growth rate of 5.4% in Germany, resulting in projected revenue of $94.998 billion in 2021, and $117.019 billion by 2025. Top product categories include electronic & media, and fashion. Preferred payment options include credit cards, invoicing, and online payment methods such as PayPal.
The French-eCommerce market ranks sixth in the world, with local players like Cdiscount and Odigeo leading the pack in the eCommerce retails space there. Amazon is also a key player in the French eCommerce market.
Statista projects the eCommerce revenue in France to reach $58.922 billion in 2021, with a projected annual eCommerce sales growth rate of 5.2% to hit $72.275 billion by 2025.
Fashion, health & beauty products, and cultural products top the list of best selling categories in the French eCommerce market.
South Korea is among the largest eCommerce markets in the world reputed for having the fastest wireless internet speeds. Statista estimates that the eCommerce revenue will reach $80.88 billion in 2021, and maintain an annual growth rate of 5.02% to hit $99.2 billion by 2025.
Fashion forms the largest market segment, and it is projected to have a market volume of $23.549 billion in 2021. Toys and hobby/DIY categories also remain popular.
Being one of the largest eCommerce markets, Canada ranks eighth in the list. Statista estimates revenue in the Canadian eCommerce market to reach $32.442 in 2021, and continue to grow at a rate of 5.6% to hit a projected market volume of $40.352 by 2025.
Electronic & media dominate the Canadian eCommerce market with a projected market volume of 9.044 billion in 2021. Canadians are also reputed as the most diversified cross-border eCommerce purchasers.
Russian ranks ninth in the list of the top eCommerce markets you should be eying this year. Per Statista, revenue in the Russian eCommerce market is projected to reach $25.994 billion and 2021, and continue to grow at an annual rate of $5.2% to hit $31.809 billion by 2025. As a top eCommerce market, Russia surely experiences eCommerce sales growth.
Electronics and media are among the popular product categories with a projected market volume of $7.334 billion in 2021, and the average user is expected to spend $393.46 on online purchases.
Brazil is the top eCommerce market in Latin America, accounting for one-third of the region's eCommerce market. Statista projects that its eCommerce revenue will reach $23.846 in 2021, and grow at a rate of 7.2% to hit $31.491 by 2025. The average online shopper in Brazil is expected to spend $207.84.
Medial & electronics top the list of the most popular products in Brazil, with a projected market volume of $6.344 billion in 2021.
6 Tips for Cross Border Shipping
Now that you know some of the largest and fastest-growing eCommerce markets in the world that you can expand into, we give 6 important tips that will help you make your transition smoother.
- Partner with reputable couriers: Shipping is the lifeblood of global eCommerce. Buyers expect their goods to arrive on time and at affordable shipping rates. You need to work with reliable and well-connected couriers that can help you achieve exactly that.
- A network of fulfillment centers: Working with suppliers and wholesalers in different countries can help you greatly reduce the shipping time and cost of delivering orders to your customers in different countries.
- Customs: You will need to clear customs detailing the contents of your imports and exports. To avoid delays or your goods being held at customs, make sure that your customs forms are correctly filled without any errors. Easyship can help you here with automatically generated customs forms.
- Prohibited/ restricted goods: Check the countries you want you to take your business to, and get familiar with what you can or can't ship there. This will help you avoid trouble with the authorities in those countries.
- Address: Make sure that the buyer's address is correct. It is such a loss of time and money to ship a product overseas only to have a failed delivery attempt due to an incorrect address.
- Insurance: Cross-border shipping is rife with risks due to long transit time. Apart from making sure that your items are packaged in the best ways possible, you also need to cover any possible loss with the right insurance policy to avoid devastating losses. Easyship can help you ensure your items are up to $5,000.
How Easyship Helps You Go Global
Hopefully, you have found helpful insights on some of the top eCommerce markets you can expand to this year. But before you open your store to the world, you need to put the right shipping strategies in place to avoid frustrating your buyers.
Easyship has helped many eCommerce retailers go global, and we can help you, too. We offer a network of over 250+ reliable shipping couriers, a network of fulfillment centers in different countries, automatically filled customs forms, an impeccable global tracking system, and up to 70% discounted shipping rates.
Sign up for a free Easyship account and let us help you go global in your business.
This article was updated on January 20, 2021 to reflect new information.