Here are three quick sets of numbers that puts the scale of China’s consumer spending, especially its online purchases, into perspective.
One. According to eMarketer, in 2016 total retail sales across the globe will have reached $22.049 trillion, up 6.0% from the previous year. eMarketer estimates sales will top $27 trillion by 2020.
Two. Worldwide ecommerce will reach about $1.915 trillion in 2016, representing about 8.7% of all sales. While overall retail sales rose 6% in 2016 over 2015, ecommerce sales increased by 24%. By 2020 they project ecommerce sales will reach $4.058 trillion representing about 15% of retail sales.
Three. China’s share of global ecommerce in 2016 was a whopping 47% (with the U.S. at about 18%). By 2020 China’s consumers will account for over 60% of global online sales, while the U.S. will shrink to about 15%.
While there are many interesting and exciting things happening elsewhere in the world, and many important things happen at small scales, it is also worth keeping things in perspective.