Asia leads the global e-commerce market; China tops the charts

The world of retail is transforming with the changing pace of consumer behaviour. Payments, as a key role of the purchasing process, have also been adjusting to the demands of shoppers as well. The last one year especially is touted as one of the biggest years for the global e-commerce market.

  • The retail e-commerce market is estimated to grow by 53% globally by 2024, boosted by BNPL.
  • China is currently the world power where the e-commerce market is concerned, turning over $1.87 billion and is expected to remain so with a 69.7% increase by 2024.
  • Digital wallets and BNPL platforms are expected to facilitate this steep rate of growth

It is also the period where the Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) market boomed thanks to the flexibility it provides consumers.

In fact, according to research by UK’s only BNPL travel agency Butter, the value of the e-Commerce retail market is estimated to climb by 53% in three years — bringing the total value to US$6 trillion, with the BNPL sector expected to see the second-largest increase in market share, second only to mobile and digital wallets.

The latest figures show that the current size of the retail e-Commerce market is US$3.914 trillion, as a result of a 70% increase in just four years.


Asia a leader in the global e-Commerce market
Butter’s report indicated Asia has been leading and China is currently the world power where the e-Commerce market is concerned, turning over US$1.87 billion and is expected to remain so with a 69.7% increase by 2024.

The United States (49.5%) and the UK (37.3%) are also expected to maintain their current number two and three spots where e-Commerce turnover is concerned.

Notably, the sector is expected to see some even more significant increases across emerging markets in the coming years, with Nigeria (136.8%), Turkey (120%) and Argentina (110%) amongst the biggest increases, Butter said.

It is also interesting to note that the report highlighted that when it comes to the methods of payment expected to facilitate this steep rate of growth, just two are expected to increase in prominence — digital wallets and BNPL platforms.

Co-Founder and CEO of Butter Timothy Davis in an e-mailed statement said, “Having seen such rapid growth in recent years, it’s only natural that the e-Commerce market may start to see the annual rate of growth slow; More of us than ever before are transacting in this fashion, and therefore there are simply fewer new people to convert each year.”

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He also said there is, however, still plenty of growth left in the sector and while it will continue to dominate in already established markets such as China, the US and the UK, many emerging global markets are also due to see substantial increases.

“This growth will also be driven by a generational shift as younger generations not only adopt this method of transacting as the norm but also look to emerging sectors such as BNPL for greater convenience when transacting.”

Which payment methods are dominating the global e-Commerce market?
Currently, Butter said digital and mobile wallets account for 44.5% of all e-Commerce transactions — by far the most prominent method of payment. The BNPL sector to date, accounts for 2.1%, with credit and debit cards, bank transfers, cash on delivery and deferred debit card charges accounting for a larger proportion of market share.

While digital and mobile wallets are predicted to remain the e-Commerce payment method of choice with a 7.2% increase by 2024, the fast emerging BNPL sector is expected to leapfrog both cash on delivery and charge and deferred debit cards. That said, an estimated 4.2%, the BNPL sector is the only other payment method predicted to increase in prominence in the coming years.


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