February 3, 2014, 3:29 PM

North America may lose its e-commerce crown this year

An eMarketer report says web consumers in Asia-Pacific will spend more than their peers in North America. Globally, e-commerce will increase 20% this year to $1.5 billion.

Thad Rueter

Senior Editor

Lead Photo

Chinese online shoppers this year will help the Asia-Pacific region overtake North America as the world’s regional e-commerce king, according to a report today from eMarketer. Globally, e-commerce sales this year—excluding business-to-business transactions but including online ticket and travel purchases—will reach $1.5 trillion, up 20.1% from 2013.

The market research firm says Asia-Pacific consumers will spend $525.2 billion in 2014, up 36.8% from $383.9 billion last year. China will account for 60% of that spending, eMarketer says.

By comparison, North American online spending will reach $482.6 billion this year, up nearly 12.0% from $431.0 billion. The United States will remain the largest country in terms of e-commerce spending, though eMarketer expects China to take that title in 2016, with online consumers in India and Indonesia also making gains.

The market research firm credits technology and an increasing global focus for the anticipated gains. “Growth will come primarily from the rapidly expanding online and mobile user bases in emerging markets, increases in m-commerce sales, [better] shipping and payment options, and the push into new international markets by major brands,” the company says.

EMarketer makes its estimates based on an analysis of data and web traffic from other research firms and by analyzing trends in demographics and consumer adoption of technology.

The following charts provide more detail about e-commerce spending around the world:

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