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01 September 2021 • Resources

Top countries buying online: 10 largest ecommerce markets across the globe

Top countries buying online: 10 largest ecommerce markets across the globe

There’s been quite a bit of growth in ecommerce worldwide recently, but it's still much more popular in some countries than in others. Online spending varies drastically from region to region, and every internet business should be aware of these differences.

Our list of the countries with the highest ecommerce spending can help you decide which markets to target for your own internet retail venture. The data for this article comes from a study by Invesp that calculated the average revenue generated per online shopper in U.S. dollars.

This list focuses on just one set of data, but there are several other ways to measure ecommerce activity. Consumer behavior, including social media usage and ecommerce payment trends, may vary between countries, and some products may be more in demand than others in different regions. 

If you’re considering launching your own store, you’ll definitely want to continue to research the market to learn more about your unique niche or industry.

Ready to learn which parts of the world are home to the biggest online spenders? 

Here are the top 10 countries for overall ecommerce spending around the world!

1. United States

The US unsurprisingly tops the list for online spending. The US generates hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue from internet shopping every year, with several US-based companies making up the list of the largest online retailers worldwide. 

For this reason, this country is the leader both in ecommerce spending and earning.

Almost all adults in the US shop on the web at least occasionally. With free and fast shipping becoming commonplace, online spending continues to rise year after year. 

The amount of time and money spent purchasing on the internet varies from person to person, but the average person in America spends several hours per week and close to $2,000 per year online shopping.

The leading ecommerce business sites in the US are Amazon, eBay, and Walmart. Although many smaller retailers do well in the States, these three massive retailers dominate the market. Consumers tend to visit these sites especially for purchasing household items and personal care products.

2. United Kingdom

The UK is just behind the US when it comes to the average amount spent per shopper. On average, an online shopper in the UK spends about $1,600 per year. 

Some of the most prominent internet retailers in the UK include Amazon, Argos, and Rakuten. The UK generates about $99 billion in ecommerce payments every year.

Electronics are a particularly in-demand product for online shoppers in the UK. These citizens also seem to be very careful and thoughtful buyers. 

Many will view items in brick-and-mortar stores but research prices on the web before they buy from the most cost-effective retail business.

3. Sweden

Sweden is one of the smaller countries on our list of highest spenders, so their total spending and revenue may not compare to some of the other countries on our list. However, the average amount spent per shopper is over $1,400.

Online shopping can be appealing for smaller countries because it opens up so many more possibilities. Many consumers in Sweden buy abroad from stores they can’t shop at locally. The UK and Germany are especially popular locations for Swedish shoppers to buy from.

Sweden’s ecommerce industry seems to still be rising dramatically, too. While the online-shopping boom in places like the US and the UK began several years ago, Sweden still has lots of room to grow in the future.

4. France

The average online shopper in France spends just over $1,200 per year. The country generates around $43 billion in revenue each year from ecommerce spending. 

What’s more, internet commerce is quickly expanding in France, with many people purchasing from both French and international brands.

Amazon’s regional website for France is the most used online shopping platform in the country. Another big French retail business is Cdiscount, which offers a wide variety of electronics, appliances, food, and other items. 

There are also plenty of small and mid-sized French websites that have flourished in the last few years, many of which were created with the WiziShop online store builder!

5. Germany

Germany is close behind France in internet spending. Per online shopper, the average annual ecommerce revenue in Germany is close to $1,100.

Amazon’s regional website for Germany accounts for a significant portion of this spending. In addition, eBay is quite prominent in Germany as well. 

The country is also home to Otto, one of the largest ecommerce companies in the world. Otto primarily sells clothing, accessories, and lifestyle products. The business is popular both in Germany and throughout the rest of Europe.

6. Japan

On average, Japanese online shoppers spend close to $1,000 each year. Although Japan isn’t at the top of the ecommerce industry overall, the country is the global leader in mobile ecommerce. 

Japan has always been a leader in technology, so it’s no surprise that mobile shopping caught on more quickly there than in other countries.

The most used internet retailer in Japan is the French company Rakuten, which is similar to Amazon. There are around $79 billion in online sales every year in Japan, which accounts for about 5% of their total retail market.

7. Spain

Spain’s average spending per online shopper is around $850. Although residents of Spain spend far less than people in other European countries, the internet commerce industry in Spain is still massive.

International purchases are particularly common with online buyers in Spain. However, it looks like local online purchasing may be on the rise. 

Amazon and eBay are frequently visited ecommerce sites for Spanish customers. Other top web shops include El Corte Inglés, Segundamano, and Groupalia.

8. China

China’s presence as an ecommerce giant is undeniable. The average amount spent per year per web shopper in China is relatively low at around $600. However, China plays a major role in international ecommerce. 

Several of the leading and most lucrative internet retailers in the world are headquartered in China. For this reason, the country generates almost $700 billion in online sales every year.

China is home to Alibaba, one of the biggest international stores on the internet. Alibaba has several important subsidiaries, including AliExpress, Taobao, and Tmall. With all of these subsidiaries combined, Alibaba is a close rival of Amazon when it comes to total revenue.

9. Russia

Russia has the largest population of all European countries, so it’s to be expected that it has the greatest number of internet users. The average amount spent per online shopper in Russia each year is only around $400. 

When you consider just how many people there are in the country, though, this amounts to a massive sum of revenue!

The ecommerce industry is still fairly small in Russia compared to many other countries in Europe and Asia. Online sales only account for about 2% of total retail sales. However, It’s likely that ecommerce will experience a boom in Russia in the next 5 to 10 years as online shopping continues to grow globally.

10. Brazil

The last on our list of the largest online spenders is Brazil. Residents of this country pay an average of $350 per year to ecommerce sites. Like Russia, Brazil has such a large population that even a small amount of spending per citizen can significantly add up.

The country is the largest web spender in Latin America. It’s thought that online shopping in Brazil accounts for at least one third of Latin America’s total ecommerce market. Some of the most popular online retailers in Brazil include Mercado Livre, Americanas, and Amazon Brazil.

A worldwide love for online shopping

Comparing the ecommerce industry in different countries can be difficult. Because populations and currencies vary so widely from country to country, there’s no perfect way to measure the popularity of online shopping.

We can examine both ecommerce spending and selling to get a better understanding of the online retail market in any particular region. 

In some countries, the primary ecommerce activity comes from shoppers who are spending money online. In other countries, residents spend less money online, but online stores that ship internationally are incredibly successful.

Knowing which countries are home to the highest ecommerce spenders can help you decide where to focus your efforts for your online store. 

If you live in a country where ecommerce is booming, selling locally is probably the wisest choice. However, if consumers in your region aren’t as keen on online shopping, you may want to branch out to international sales.

You should also keep in mind that the ecommerce industry is changing all the time. We’ve seen a steep increase in online shopping in the last decade, but there’s still plenty of room to grow in many countries. 

Your country may not be on this list, but that doesn’t mean that the ecommerce industry will never thrive there as the percentage of retail sales found online continues to grow. 

Stay informed with the latest data so you don’t miss the perfect opportunity to establish yourself in the ecommerce market!

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