Global e-commerce market size and growth 2020-2025


The global e-commerce market saw a rapid change in 2020 as the Coronavirus crisis spread across the globe. In virtually every location social restrictions and stay-at-home orders pushed many to online retail channels. Spikes in e-commerce sales were seen globally with markets reporting accelerated adoption as bricks-and-mortar stores closed. Consumer behaviour also changed as shoppers were pushed online to meet their need for goods in a pandemic-stricken world.

The surge in e-commerce demand was reflected in the global e-commerce logistics market which grew by 27.3% in nominal terms in 2020. Relatively high growth rates were experienced globally in 2020. Higher growth rates were seen in developing economies and markets where e-commerce is a newer phenomenon as well. However, large growth rates were also noted in markets where e-commerce is more mature such as the UK and the US.

The Asia Pacific e-commerce logistics market grew 22.0% in nominal terms in 2020. Valued at €152,977m, it is the largest regional e-commerce logistics market, accounting for 41.6% of the global total. Growth was driven by China, with e-commerce sales boosted by the rise of social commerce and live streaming. Throughout 2020, live streaming was increasingly leveraged by brands to present and demonstrate products in an interactive manner as Chinese consumers shopped more via live streaming and video apps. Popular live streaming and short video apps became significant marketing channels, generating sales by connecting consumers directly to e-commerce sites or within the platforms themselves. For example, Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok, noted e-commerce transactions tripled in 2020 to a total CNY 500bn (€64.1bn).

Europe’s e-commerce market thrived following the closure of non-essential retail for a significant proportion of the year in some of the major economies. Many consumers turned to e-commerce to fulfil their shopping needs. Consequently, the European e-commerce logistics market grew 26.5% in nominal terms in 2020. It is valued at €70,844m, making it the third-largest regional market globally.

The North American e-commerce logistics market grew by 33.9% in nominal terms in 2020. It is valued at €128,783m, accounting for almost one third of the global market.

Growth in the market is led by the United State which experienced substantial growth in 2020. Despite uneven stay-at-home measures across the country and state level, e-commerce growth accelerated. The high demand for e-commerce was reflected in Amazon’s annual results, with US revenues experiencing a year-on-year increase of 36.1%.

Ti expects more moderate growth over the next five years. The global e-commerce logistics market is expected to grow at a nominal 2020-2025 compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.6% over the forecast horizon.

Developed economies will mostly see single figure growth rates over the forecast horizon. More moderate growth can be attributed to high base rates and significantly less headroom for growth compared to developing markets. Nevertheless, the continued growth of e-commerce presents an attractive opportunity for logistics providers, particularly as many consumers adopt e-commerce permanently. For example, a study conducted by the Federal Association of E-commerce and Mail Order Germany eV (bevh) revealed that approximately three in four shoppers will continue to order the same or more from online retailers in the future, up from every second consumer in 2019.

Source: Transport Intelligence, March 18, 2021

Author: Transport Intelligence

Ti’s latest e-commerce Logistics Market Sizing data for all regions and countries is now available on the Global Supply Chain intelligence (GSCi) platform. This includes global, historical growth rates, market sizes, 1-year growth projections and 5-year forecasts. To read more about the growth of the market please download Ti’s latest whitepaper: Post-Covid Forecasts: Global e-commerce Logistics

Or, for more detailed market forecast data, please contact Ti’s Head of Commercial Development, Michael Clover about GSCi at [email protected]