E-commerce is big, and getting bigger.
As Alibaba delivers robust sales today, new data from eMarketer Inc. reveals an e-commerce powerhouse that is poised for continued growth of market share of digital advertising. And in separate research from the analytics firm, U.S. online sales of apparel and accessories is on track to post double-digit gains through 2019 with a significant shift occurring during the current back-to-school shopping season.
The firm is also forecasting global e-commerce retail sales to increase 25 percent this year.
Emarketer said in its report that it sees Alibaba accounting for a 4.6 percent share of all global digital advertising revenue this year, which would compare to a 4.2 percent share in 2014. By comparison, Baidu is forecast to garner a 5.5 percent digital advertising global sales share — up from last year’s 4.7 percent.
In the mobile device advertising market, Alibaba is forecast to take a 6.9 percent share of the $68.7 billion market. This would be up from a 5.1 percent share last year, and 1.6 percent in 2013. Baidu will see its share climb to 6.6 percent this year, which compares to 6 percent last year and 2.6 percent in 2013.
In the digital advertising market in China, total revenue will swell 30 percent to $31 billion from $23.9 billion — despite recent economic concerns in the country. “China is the second-largest ad market in the world behind the U.S.,” the eMarketer report stated. “[And] Alibaba’s share of China’s digital advertising market is expected to reach 34 percent in 2015, up from 29.8 percent in 2014.”
However, the research firm said Baidu will likely see its market share drop to 32.4 percent this year from 34.4 percent in 2014.
But the biggest news in China is an eye-popping 87 percent increase in mobile device ad revenue with Alibaba muscling out Baidu. Emarketer is forecasting that market to grow in China to nearly $14 billion, up from $7.5 billion last year. In the mobile ad space in China, Alibaba’s share is expected to reach $4.75 billion, which is about 34 percent of the total revenue generated in the market. This would compare to 29.8 percent last year. Meanwhile, Baidu’s share is expected to decline to 32.4 percent from 34.4 percent last year.
Globally, retail e-commerce will take a 7.3 percent share, or $1.7 trillion, of total global retail sales, which reflects a 25 percent increase from last year. Emarketer said the Asia-Pacific region “will be the main driving force behind this growth, accounting for over half of global retail e-commerce sales — or $874.46 billion — in 2015.”
In the U.S., online sales of apparel and accessories is forecast to reach $60 billion this year, which would be a 17.2 percent share of the total retail e-commerce sales. “Despite robust e-commerce penetration for many apparel and accessories retailers and consumers’ high comfort levels with buying those products digitally, nearly 7 in 10 U.S. Internet users still prefer to buy clothing and footwear in-store,” the research firm said.
Still, eMarketer said it expects apparel and accessories “to continue to slightly outperform the U.S. retail e-commerce sector as a whole through 2019.” The segment is forecast to see a compounded annual growth rate of 12.5 percent between 2014 and 2019, which compares to a growth rate of 12.4 percent for the entire U.S. retail e-commerce market.
For the current b-t-s season, eMarketer expects U.S. retail sales to post a 4.6 percent gain with e-commerce sales showing a robust 6.6 percent increase. “But even as seasonal spending increases, shoppers will remain highly price conscious, and a large percentage will depend on smartphones to find deals and compare prices while they shop,” the firm said.