There are more than 7 billion potential customers in the world, and 2.4 billion of them are online. How many of those customers is your company reaching outside your own borders? Let’s say your international sales last month included three products sold through Zazzle, one through Amazon, five through eBay, five at CafePress, and four on your own Web site by way of a shopping cart adapted for Facebook. Do you think you’ve captured enough sales? Hardly. Sure, you generated more sales and profits than you would have had you not created these accounts, but could you sell more?
Nearly 87 percent of the world economic growth during the next five years will take place outside of the United States, according to the International Monetary Fund. Are you prepared to tap into it?
According to ComSCORE, “E-commerce in the U.S. reached $289 billion in 2012, up13 percent from the previous year. While e-commerce continues to gain share from traditional retail, the first signs of mobile commerce affecting the digital commerce landscape are starting to emerge.”[i]
“E-commerce . . . already accounts for nearly 8% of total retail sales in the U.S.,” according to Lauren Indvik of Mashable, referring to a report by Forrester Research Online Retail Sales Forecast. And it’s only going to grow. “It is expected to outpace sales growth at bricks-and-mortar stores over the next five years, reaching $370 billion in 2017. By that time, ecommerce is expected to account for a full tenth of all retail sales in the U.S.”[ii]
Business-to-commerce (B-to-C) e-commerce sales grew 21 percent worldwide in 2012, to crest the $1 trillion mark for the first time, according to eMarketer. Those sales are expected to grow in 2013 to 18 percent—or $1.3 trillion in worldwide sales. In addition, Asia-Pacific is forecasted to surpass North America to become the world’s number 1 market for B-to-C e-commerce sales.[iii]
It is also projected by eMarketer that three Asia-Pacific markets—China, India, and Indonesia—will see “faster business to consumer e-commerce sales growth than all other markets worldwide this year, while Japan will continue to take a large share of global sales.”[iv]
[i] “2013 Digital Future in Focus 2013 Series,” ComScore, last modified August 22, 2013, http://www.comscore.com/Insights/Press_Releases/2013/2/comScore_Releases_the_2013_U.S._Digital_Future_in_Focus_Report.
[ii] “Forrester: U.S. Online Retail Sales to Hit $370 Billion by 2017,” Lauryn Indvik, Mashable, last modified March 12, 2013,
[iii] “Ecommerce Sales Topped $1 Trillion for First Time in 2012,” Clark Fredricksen, eMarketer, last modified February 5, 2013,
To learn more, read: Exporting: The Definitive Guide to Selling Abroad Profitably.