The e-commerce market has been forecast to see sales pass the $1.25 trillion mark by 2013, with the total number of Internet users increasing to approximately 3.5 billion from around 2.2 billion at the end of 2011.
E-commerce, is the buying and selling of a product or service over electronic systems such as the Internet and other computer networks. E-commerce draws on such technologies as electronic funds transfer, supply chain management, Internet marketing, online transaction processing, electronic data interchange (EDI), inventory management systems, and automated data collection systems.
Modern electronic commerce typically uses the World Wide Web at least at one point in the transaction’s life-cycle, although it may encompass a wider range of technologies such as e-mail, mobile devices and telephones as well.
The United States remains the world’s single biggest e-commerce market, followed by the United Kingdom and Japan. Growth rates in those countries will be approximately 10-15% a year. But with China’s e-commerce sales growing more than 130% in 2011, it is only a matter of time before the Asian giant becomes the single largest market in the world.
Today, as a result of the recent recession, consumers are more focused than ever on finding the best prices. Consequently, e-commerce firms like Amazon that are known for their high value at low prices are well positioned to prosper.
The standout winner in e-commerce continues to be Amazon, where sales have soared thanks to aggressive discount pricing, free shipping for its “Prime” members and an ever-growing variety of merchandise categories.
Amazon’s revenues rose by 41% in 2011 to $48.0 billion, and profits grew substantially as well. Books, movies, music and other media now account for only 35% of Amazon’s sales, while electronics and general merchandise bring in the largest share by far. Amazon’s sales outside of North America are booming, and now account for 44% of total revenues. Clearly, there is growing adoption of online consumer purchases throughout the world’s major economies.
In recent news, Payments firm PayPal expects to sign up to 25,000 merchants and capture 10 percent of the MENA region’s e-commerce customers in the next two years following the launch of its local operation.
PayPal, which is now available in seven markets across the Middle East and North Africa, currently has 1 million customers in the region but expects to grow “exponentially” following the launch on Wednesday.
Worldwide, we are increasingly seeing trust and confidence in purchasing online growing and government and private initiatives brought in to support the development of the global digital economy. Online is now becoming an integral part of any country’s economy and should be considered so