Highlights. The global cross-border e-commerce consumer market is worth $793.7 billion.

  • 31.9% of online shoppers in the U.S. have purchased from an online retailer in another country in the past year.
  • Retail e-commerce sales worldwide are expected to exceed $7 trillion by 2025, accounting for 23.6% of all retail sales.
  • China dominates the e-commerce market with 52.1% of the world’s e-commerce sales.
Largest Global eCommerce Companies
Country Exports
(in billions)
Imports
(in billions)
China $1,716.0 $88.2
United States $90.0 $28.2
United Kingdom $36.7 $10.2
Germany $30.1 $30.6
France $22.3 $80.1
India $8.0 $18.0
South Korea $4.9 $4.5
Japan $2.8 $5.0
Canada $1.7 $52.0

Cross Border Online Sales

Cross-border e-commerce accounts for approximately 22% of all e-commerce sales worldwide.

  • The global cross-border e-commerce market is expected to reach $3 trillion by 2028.
  • From 2022 to 2028, the cross-border e-commerce market is projected to grow at a 25.1% Compound Annual Growth Rate.
  • Physical products account for 97% of cross-border e-commerce, while digital products account for the remaining 3%.
  • 47% of cross-border shoppers consider price the driving factor for their purchases, stating that they purchased the item from another country because it was “more affordable than other offerings.”
  • 44.5% of e-commerce transactions worldwide are made with a digital or mobile wallet, followed by credit cards at 22.8% and debit cards at 12.3%.

Bar Graph: U.S. Cross Border eCommerce Shoppers from 2020 (61.9 million) to 2023 (69.8 million) with projections to 2025 (74.5 million) according to Insider Intelligence

U.S. Cross Border eCommerce

Around 71.8 million or one- third of all American online shoppers will make overseas purchases in 2024.

  • There are 69.8 million cross-border retail e-commerce buyers in the U.S.
  • The United States has free trade agreements with 20 countries, making eCommerce trade easier with these nations.
  • Cross-border buying gained popularity in the United States around 2016, with a 10.2% growth from the previous year.
  • In 2020, there was a 7.0% increase in cross-border buyers in the U.S., likely due to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Between 2022 and 2023, there were an estimated 2.3 million new cross-border online shoppers for a 3.4% growth rate.
  • eCommerce imports valued at less than $800 are considered de minimis, meaning that the U.S. government does not charge customs duties for the goods entering the country.
  • 43% of Chinese business-to-business e-commerce sellers target the U.S. market – more than any other export country.

World Map: Cross-Border eCommerce Buyer Penetration according to Insider Intelligence

The International eCommerce Market

There are 2.64 billion online shoppers worldwide, or one-third of the global population.

  • Global e-commerce retail sales are predicted to reach $9.4 trillion by 2026.
  • Since 2020, there has been an 11.4% increase in online shoppers globally.
  • 56.7% of online shoppers in Singapore purchase items from other countries, the most of any country in the world.
  • Canada has the highest cross-border purchase rate in North America, with 55.5% of online shoppers purchasing from a foreign online retailer in the past year.
  • The growth of the global retail e-commerce market is slowing down. In 2021, there was 16.8% market growth, while in 2022, the market size only grew by 9.7%.
  • By 2025, the number of digital shoppers is expected to increase by only 4.9%.
  • The e-commerce share of the total retail market is expected to grow 19% by 2026.
  • Since 2012, e-commerce has grown to account for 344.5% more of the retail market worldwide.
  • The American shopping event Black Friday has become the world’s biggest online shopping day. For example, e-commerce sales in Turkey rise 269% during Black Friday.

Line Graph: Worldwide eCommerce Market Growth according to Morgan Stanley

eCommerce buying habits vary in different regions around the world. Subsections exclude Africa, Australia, and North America taken as a whole due to data availability.

  • 85% of consumers worldwide shop online.
  • The Asian e-commerce market is five times larger than the Latin American and European markets combined.
  • eCommerce accounts for 4.5% more of total retail sales in Asia than in North America.
  • Approximately 2% of African retail sales are made online. African e-commerce is expected to grow 150% by 2026 with the increased availability of smartphones.
  • 18% of retail sales in Oceania are e-commerce purchases. By 2026, the e-commerce market in the region is projected to grow by 33.3%.

Pie Chart: Top 10 Countries by Retail eCommerce Sales Share

Asia

The Asian-Pacific region is the largest market for retail e-commerce, with $2.992 trillion in sales.

  • 50% of global e-commerce sales come from Asian markets.
  • eCommerce accounts for 23% of all retail sales in Asia, the highest proportion in any region.
  • There are 280.0 million cross-border e-commerce buyers in China, the most of any country.
  • Approximately 845 million Chinese consumers have purchased goods online, resulting in a digital buyer penetration rate of 59%.
  • Singapore has the fastest-growing e-commerce market globally, with 36% growth in 2022.
  • Over 40% of Chinese e-commerce sales come from sales associated with three key festivals, Chinese New Year, 618, and Double 11, and around 50% of Indian consumers delay online purchases until Diwali sales week.

Europe

21% of all e-commerce purchases made in the European Region are shipped internationally.

  • An average of 25.5% of online retail orders placed in the European Union are shipped to customers in other countries.
  • 25% of EU consumers purchase from e-commerce sellers from non-EU countries.
  • In 2021, the European e-commerce market generated $465.4 billion in revenue.
  • eCommerce revenues in the European region are expected to grow by 22.3% to $569.2 billion by 2025.
  • Western Europe has the highest proportion of online shoppers on the continent at 83% of consumers, while Eastern Europe has the least with only 36% of consumers shopping online.
  • 51.6% of online shoppers in Spain have purchased items from a foreign seller in the past year, the most in Europe.
  • Luxembourg has Europe’s largest cross-border e-commerce export market, with 80.8% of total online sales shipped from retailers in the country purchased by foreign shoppers.
  • Monday is the most important e-commerce shopping day around the world. For example, 42%  of German and 40% of French online purchases occur on Mondays.

Latin America

In 2020, retail e-commerce sales in Latin America totaled $85 billion and are expected to reach $160 billion by 2025.

  • eCommerce accounts for 11% of all retail sales in the Latin American region.
  • 86% of South Americans shop online, 1.2% more than the global average.
  • Brazil accounts for 30% of the Latin American e-commerce market, followed by Mexico at 28% and Colombia at 28%.
  • 13% of retail sales in Mexico are e-commerce sales, the highest percentage in Latin America.
  • Online purchases made on mobile devices in the Latin American region totaled $64 billion in 2021 and are expected to reach $107 billion by 2025.
Largest Global eCommerce Companies
Company Market Value
(in billions)
Country
Amazon.com $867.58 USA
Walmart $387.72 USA
Home Depot $324.85 USA
Alibaba Group Holding $226.76 China
Reliance Industries $206.31 India
Prosus $206.01 Netherlands
Costco Wholesale $205.34 USA
Meituan Dianping $145.31 China
Pinduoduo $106.25 China
JD.com $88.36 China

Cross Border eCommerce Company Statistics

The largest eCommerce company in the world is Amazon, with a market value of $867.58 billion.

  • The biggest non-U.S. e-commerce company is the Chinese firm Alibaba valued at $226.76 billion.
  • Of the top e-commerce companies in the world, four are headquartered in the United States, four in China, one in India, and one in the Netherlands.
  • International e-commerce giant Amazon has fulfillment centers in 16 countries. Although these warehouses are in only 9% of the world’s nations, they account for 74% of the world’s GDP.
  • Cross-border trade by Shopify e-commerce business rose by 74.5% between 2019 and 2020, with a total of 690,000 businesses on the platform selling internationally
  • Small businesses fuel Shopify cross-border trade with 52.6% of international sales by Shopify merchants.
  • European Shopify merchants generate $2.8 billion in annual sales from merchants outside of Europe.

These data and insights were compiled by the Capital One Shopping team based on publicly available data.

Sources

  1. Brookings Institution, The emerging markets e-commerce opportunity
  2. Statista, E-Commerce
  3. Oberlo, Statistics
  4. Globe News Wire, Cross-Border B2C E-Commerce Market Size
  5. Office of the United States Trade Representative, Free Trade Agreements
  6. Insider Intelligence, eMarketer
  7. Congressional Research Service, International Trade and E-commerce
  8. Nielsen IQ, Global Insights
  9. Deloitte, Global Economic Impact Study of Shopify
  10. Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration
  11. Morgan Stanley, Here’s Why E-Commerce Growth Can Stay Stronger for Longer