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New eMarketer Forecast Sees Mobile Driving Retail Ecommerce in China

Retail ecommerce sales projected to top $1.13 trillion in 2017

July 5, 2017 | Retail & Ecommerce

China—the world’s largest ecommerce market—is set for continued growth in 2017, according to eMarketer’s latest worldwide retail forecast. Retail ecommerce sales in the country are expected to reach $1.13 trillion this year, a figure equal to 23.1% of total retail sales. Growth is expected to continue, with ecommerce accounting for 40.8% of all retail sales in China by 2021.

Retail Ecommerce Sales in China, 2016-2021 (billions, % change and % of worldwide retail ecommerce sales)

China’s booming ecommerce market will continue to thrive thanks to the proliferation of mobile buying and the dominance of Alibaba’s Taobao Marketplace and Tmall, as well as rival ecommerce platform JD.com.

By the end of 2018, more than 75% of ecommerce sales in China—over $1 trillion worth—will be transacted via a mobile device. Worldwide retail ecommerce sales are expected to reach $2.29 trillion in 2017.

“Growth in online purchasing is being spurred along by a growing comfort with mobile shopping, greater spending by consumers in smaller cities, and the expansion in the variety of goods being purchased,” said Oscar Orozco, senior forecasting analyst at eMarketer. “In addition, last year, Alibaba expanded its same- and next-day deliveries from 50 to 200 cities, which is having a positive effect on sales.”

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