China will lead the global ecommerce market in 2019 with $1.935 trillion in ecommerce sales, representing 54.7 percent of the market, according to eMarketer’s 2019 Global Ecommerce Report. Competitive experiential marketing launched by Alibaba’s online marketplaces, namely Tmall and Taobao, are helping Chinese brands give its consumers a fully realized, highly personalized experience online and offline, which is ultimately driving increased sales. 

With ecommerce sales in the most populated country more than three times that of the US market—which came in second on the report—China has its robust business-to-consumer (B2C) online marketplaces to thank. US brands have noticed the uptick, and are getting more involved in this booming market, too. Vans, Oral-B and others are starting to leverage Alibaba’s latest efforts, a data-driven experiential retail center that Tmall recently opened in Shanghai. The study shows that Tmall and Taobao ranked first and second globally for gross merchandise volume. Though China is currently leading the global ecommerce market, it only surpassed US ecommerce sales in 2013, and has been steadily growing since.

“Despite its reputation for parroting the U.S.’s digital success stories, there is a growing sentiment that China has become the nexus of ecommerce innovation,” the report noted.

Global ecommerce as a whole, eMarketer estimates, will rise 20.7 percent in 2019 to $3.535 trillion. This growth rate reflected a decline from the previous two years when ecommerce grew 28 percent in 2017 and 22.9 percent in 2018. The figure is on track to approach $5 trillion by 2021.

Three of the top six ecommerce markets include the UK at $141.93 billion, Germany at $81.85 billion and France at $69.43 billion. The top-growing overall ecommerce market is Latin America, with Mexico at 35 percent. It’s India, however, that ranks first for the fastest-growing ecommerce market within the top 10, as eMarketer expects its sales to jump 31.9 percent to $46.05 billion in 2019. One market that has traditionally lagged in the market is Canada, whose geographically dispersed population hinders its ability to build out ecommerce distribution centers, making delivery capabilities cost-prohibitive.    

The global retail market, on the other hand, will reach $25.038 trillion in 2019. Yet this prediction also reflects an enfeebled economic environment internationally. The figure represents a declining momentum from the five years preceding that when global retail sales grew between 5.7 percent and 7.5 percent annually.