Key Statistics And Predictions For Global e-Commerce In 2021 – Time To Go Cross-Border!

Time To Go Cross-Border
Despite Covid-19 e-Commerce sites have continued to develop their international activity. Moreover, a large majority of them expect a substantial growth of global sales during the next two years.
What factor(s) will be most essential to succeed in this quest for internationalization: translation, currencies, payment options, or something else?

How big is the global e-commerce market?

According to eMarketer, the global e-Commerce market amounts to a total of $4.89 trillion in 2021. Such a figure is estimated to grow over the next few years, showing that borderless e-Commerce is becoming a profitable option for online retailers.

How big is the global e-commerce market?

  • 13,6% of sales were made from online purchases two years ago
  • 19,5% of sales will be made from online purchases in 2021
  • +45,8% increase in e-Commerce market share in two years
  • 21,8% of sales are expected to come from online purchases in 2024

Global e-commerce sales growth

Global retail sales growth will continue to rise and take up more retail market share. According to eMarketer, online retail sales will reach $6.39 trillion, with e-Commerce taking up to 21.8% of total retail sales.

Global e-commerce sales growth

USD 562.1 billion global cross-border B2C e-Commerce market share
Source: Zion Market Research

USD 4,856.1 billion by 2027 global cross-border B2C e-Commerce expected market share
Source: Zion Market Research

+27.4% of CAGR between 2019 and 2027
Source: Zion Market Research

57% of consumers have made a purchase from a foreign merchant in the last 6 months
Source: Emarketer, July 2021

70% of merchants say that international e-Commerce is profitable for them
Source: Emarketer, July 2021

70% of e-Commerce sites anticipate an increase in the share of their global sales over the next two years
Source: Fevad/LSA Barometer, February 2021

Personalized shopping e-commerce

Providing customers with a personalized, secure and localized shopping experience is the key to profitability in 2021. A customer spends 48% more if the shopping experience is personalized.

Communicating with foreign customers in their native languages is a sign of respect leading to higher conversion rates and more enjoyable shopping experiences.
Based on a survey of 8,709 global consumers in 29 countries, CSA Research discovered that:
65% of consumers prefer content in their language even if it is poor quality (based on a survey of 8,709 global consumers in 29 countries).
– Moreover, 40% will not buy from websites in other languages.

Therefore, offering preferred payment methods and local currencies creates a good customer experience from first impression to checkout. Online payment methods have a big importance on buying decisions. However it is easy to overlook how people pay. Cultural-centricity does not allow merchants to focus on differences in purchase habits. Without carefully considering the data, companies pick by default whatever payment methods they have been using in their domestic market.
The coronavirus pandemic incentivized consumers’ adoption of real-time payment options by 41%. Out of these 41%, global mobile payments made up 46% totaling $102.7 billion last year. Real-time payments are digital wallet options to pay quickly – Apple Pay, Google Pay, Shop Pay and PayPal.

Every region still has its own preferred methods. For instance in North America credit cards are number one by a mile; Digital payment systems like PayPal and Apple Pay are a close second, and cash on delivery is a top choice.

On a global scale, credit cards and those same digital payments also dominate. But in Eastern Europe, India, Africa and throughout the Middle East, you have to keep in mind that cash on delivery is a top choice. And if you decide to target the Indian, African or Asian markets, enabling direct debit will become necessary for your business performance.

If you want to expand globally you should consider payment options for your target region.

Customers are delighted to shop in their own language, to pay with their preferred payment methods and to have prices in their local currencies. To sell effectively worldwide, you need specific payment capabilities to process transactions in local currencies, offer the most appropriate payment methods and ensure data security always in compliance with the local and global regulations.

B2B’s e-commerce will dominate B2C

A few words from Statista’s B2B e-Commerce report:“Even though B2C e-Commerce has witnessed widespread adoption, it is the recent evolution and growth of B2B eCommerce that is attracting the attention of buyers, sellers, and investors all over the world.”  Comparing each market’s total annual value represents a nearly four-fold difference (278.6%).

Why is B2B e-Commerce such a ripe global opportunity?
B2B marketplaces (e.g., Amazon Business, eWorldTrade, Joor, Alibaba, etc.) operate in a similar way to their B2C counterparts. They provide ready-made connections between buyers and sellers.

The B2C preference for self-service has infiltrated B2B and alleviated the offline barrier of hiring a large sales force. Gartner found that B2B “customers now wait until they are 57% through the purchase process before contacting a rep.” This gives e-Commerce a distinct advantage as self-guided online sales are already the norm.

Lastly, many wholesale e-Commerce customers prefer a simple ordering experience. This is particularly true for independent e-retailers, small-to-medium franchises and B2C outlets. Such buyers still rely on paper orders and invoices.
Consider implementing a full-service solution to sell licenses and subscriptions to B2B channels while simplifying interactions between resellers and internal teams. This might be the key to success!


Global e-Commerce is neither a luxury nor one of the strategies. It is necessary  if you want to sell globally.
But there are also many questions: Where to invest? What countries present the best product-market fit? How do you attract non-local buyers? Finally, which is most important: translation, currencies, payment options, or something else entirely?

Global e-commerce is a necessity and something to take advantage of for your brand.
It’s time to go cross-border with Nexway Monetize.
Get started! Contact us today for a demo.