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Global Digital Economy - E-Commerce & M-Commerce Trends & Statistics

This annual report offers a wealth of information on the worldwide development of digital economy in terms of e-commerce and m-commerce. It offers analyses, statistics, forecasts and key trends for the e-payment, e-banking, m-payment and m-banking services. It provides insight into the most popular online and mobile content and services. An overview of advertising and marketing using digital media is also provided. Regional information on developments in North America, Latin America, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific are also provided.  

Subjects covered include:

  •   Key elements of the digital economy;
  •   Global e-commerce, e-payment and e-banking market overview and statistics;
  •   Key online services and statistics;
  •   Global m-commerce, m-payment and m-banking market overview and statistics;
  •   Key mobile content and services;
  •   Digital media marketing and advertising;
  •   Brief regional overviews.


The billions of mobile and online Internet users worldwide are creating huge opportunities for the development of e-commerce and m-commerce. The financial crisis has focused global attention on new infrastructure developments and facilitated a unique opportunity to shift the broadband emphasis from a high-speed Internet service to a national infrastructure for the digital economy that will underpin a range of positive social and economic developments. E-commerce is just one sector that will benefit from improvements in infrastructure and a trans-sector approach to governance. E-government, e-health, e-education, social media and e-science are also important elements of a digital economy.

  While the economic slowdown is curbing e-commerce growth somewhat in most markets, there is evidence so far that the online retail market has remained steady due mostly to the lower prices and convenience offered via online shopping. Spending on online advertising also continues to grow in the face of economic uncertainty and in 2010 online advertising should account for around 13% of overall ad spending worldwide.  

Alternative payment systems are gaining much attention in 2009 as consumer demand grows for different payment methods other than credit cards. As online retailers expand globally they are also beginning to discover that cultural differences may impact upon payment method preferences. For example, in the developing markets where credit cards and bank accounts are scarcer, consumers may prefer to pay in person at a bank or by postal order. Electronic bank transfers and billing goods to phone accounts are other examples of alternative payment methods. As the complexities and security issues surrounding e-payments increase, some online retailers are turning to outsourced payment processing companies to manage their e-payment solutions.  

There is a massive change underway in the mobile media market as it becomes unshackled from the operators’ portals that have dominated it for a decade, all without having made any significant inroads into the content use of mobile users. The new capped data packages, fuelled by further competition, will see a total revamp of the mobile media market. It will no longer be based on portals but on direct services by content and services providers via open source phones and mobile-friendly Internet-based services. The next step is the continued emergence of m-commerce and in particular m-payment services.  

There is keen interest in m-payment and m-banking among mobile operators in developing countries such as Kenya, the Philippines and India. The revenues are indeed growing, but can this new business also be profitable? The often quoted pioneer success story is M-Pesa in Kenya. While M-Pesa by itself is not yet profitable, it is growing very fast and already makes up around 4% of the operator’s total revenues (up from only 0.6% in 2008). These developments will create a new e-payment system for the mobile market, away from the hefty charges the carriers put on Premium Rate SMS payment facilities. However, there is a limit to the mobile networks’ spectrum capacity, and we will have to wait for true IP-based wireless broadband to become available before the operators can fully deliver on the promise of mass market mobile broadband.  

In 2009 the interest surrounding Near Field Communications for m-commerce and m-payments continues unabated, with further trials being conducted around the world. Financial transactions via mobile phones are set to rise substantially in the coming years as banks and mobile operators continue to work together.  

Social media is becoming a key focus in the digital economy as the leading players in this sector look to expand their services and incorporate e-payment and m-payment services. This seems a logical move for companies such as Facebook, as they have built up large and loyal customer bases from social networking services. Around 20% of Facebook’s online users now access the service via mobile each month. Its online customer base sits at around 300 million and Facebook is expanding into e-payments/m-payments via partnerships with Zong and Boku.  

This report provides a valuable insight into the developments taking place in the digital economy in terms of e-commerce and m-commerce. It includes information and broad global market statistics for the e-commerce, e-payment, e-banking sectors as well as the m-commerce, m-payment and m-banking sectors. The report also includes brief case studies on some of the key markets identified for future growth such as the USA, China and Africa. Regional information on developments in North America, Latin America, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific are also included.  

Key highlights:

  •   PayPal is still by far the most popular online payment system worldwide, with around 45% of its customers based outside of the US. Other interesting models are also emerging such as Twitter’s TwitPay.
  •   It is expected that PayPal will contribute around a third of eBay’s overall revenue in 2009.
  •   China now has more Internet users than the USA and these two markets, among others, now offer significant opportunities for those operating in the e-commerce space.
  •   In most global markets, online travel has been one of the most successful e-commerce categories.
  •  
Online travel sector market summary
  •   Travel has been one of the largest and most competitive online sectors for at least a decade; |
  •   There is evidence that the economic downturn has impacted upon online travel spending by at least 10% as consumers and businesses reign in spending; |
  •   The longer term prospects for the sector still remain strong and while consumers may be spending less, traffic to online travel services remains steady; |
  •   Over $110 billion is expected to be spent on online travel in the US in 2009; |
  •   Online travel is also the most popular online service in Asia Pacific, with more growth expected for the region, particularly China, India, Singapore and Japan; |
  •   Travel websites are evolving from offering simple online bookings to incorporating online video tours, niche destinations, customised alerts and direct customer assistance; |
  •   Traffic from social networking sites to travel sites is growing and there may be potential opportunities for travel sites to leverage social networks further; |
  •   The travel industry is also turning its attention to mobile devices as a platform for marketing, booking and paying for travel. |
  •  
  •   E-commerce security concerns continue to persist with many consumers still reluctant to impart credit card information over the Internet and mobile devices.
  •   The developing markets of Kenya, Philippines and India are currently driving developments for micro-credits and micro-payments and it won’t be long before these models start arriving in the developed markets as well.
  •   Mobile banking also found its initial success in the developing world where financial services are poor. The sector was also stimulated by the high charges which banks demanded for conventional money transactions. In coming years, growth will also come from mature markets as consumers turn to mobile phones as an adjunct to popular online banking services.
  •   China’s m-commerce market reached RMB1.3 billion ($163 million) in 2006 and is forecast to reach RMB7.6 billion ($953 million) by 2010.
  •  
Data in this report is the latest available at the time of preparation and may not be for the current year.

1. Key Elements Of The Digital Economy
1.1 Introduction to the digital economy
1.1.1 Infrastructure essential for the digital economy
1.1.2 Key sectors for the digital economy
1.1.3 Key requirements of the digital economy
2. E-Commerce Market Overview and Statistics
2.1 Global e-commerce, e-payments & e-banking market overview and statistics
2.1.1 The digital economy
2.1.2 E-commerce
2.1.3 Brief overview of USA e-commerce market
2.1.4 China’s government e-commerce projects
2.1.5 China’s e-payment systems
2.1.6 E-payments and e-banking
2.1.7 Brief case study: PayPal
2.1.8 Internet banking (e-banking)
2.1.9 Security
2.1.10 Permission-based marketing
3. Online Content and Services
3.1 Global online content and services market overview and statistics
3.1.1 Digital media and entertainment
3.1.2 Key online entertainment services
3.1.3 Other key online services
3.1.4 Digital Rights Management (DRM)
4. M-Commerce Market Overview and Statistics
4.1 Global m-commerce and m-payment market overview and statistics
4.1.1 M-commerce market
4.1.2 M-payments (mobile payments)
4.1.3 M-banking (mobile banking)
4.1.4 Security concerns persist
5. Mobile Data Content and Services
5.1 Global mobile media market overview and statistics
5.1.1 Introduction
5.1.2 The market for mobile digital media
5.1.3 Operators have lost the content battle - analysis
5.1.4 New marketing and distribution models
5.1.5 Mobile TV
5.1.6 Premium Rate SMS (PSMS)
5.1.7 Key industry segments: statistics and forecasts
6. Digital Media Advertising and Marketing
6.1 Digital media advertising market overview and statistics
6.1.1 Digital marketing
6.1.2 Online advertising
6.1.3 Online advertising models
6.1.4 Key online advertising categories
6.1.5 Mobile advertising
6.1.6 TV advertising to struggle
6.1.7 Dubious advertising tactics
7. Regional Overviews
7.1 North America
7.2 Latin America
7.2.1 E-commerce overview
7.2.2 M-commerce
7.3 Europe
7.3.1 E-commerce in Europe
7.3.2 M-commerce in Europe
7.3.3 Mobile music
7.4 Africa
7.4.1 Overview
7.4.2 E-commerce and Internet banking
7.4.3 Online and mobile advertising
7.4.4 Online media
7.4.5 The m-banking and m-payments revolution
7.5 Middle East
7.5.1 Overview
7.5.2 Major e-commerce operators in the Middle East
7.5.3 M-commerce
7.6 Asia
7.6.1 E-commerce and m-commerce in selected Asian markets
7.7 Pacific region
7.7.1 Australia
7.7.2 New Zealand
8. Glossary of Abbreviations
Table 1 - Worldwide online spending: B2B & B2C - 2012
Table 2 - Worldwide Internet users - 1990 - 2009
Table 3 - Worldwide broadband subscribers - 2003 - 2009
Table 4 - Worldwide online gambling revenue - 1997; 2001; 2004; 2006; 2008
Table 5 - Worldwide revenue from online video - 2008; 2012
Table 6 - Number of virtual worlds worldwide - 2007; 2009
Table 7 - Worldwide e-learning market value - 2005; 2008; 2010
Table 8 - Number of online banking users worldwide - 2009; 2012
Table 9 - Number of consumers using health monitoring - North America; Western Europe - 2008; 2012
Table 10 - US online travel spending - 2006; 2008 - 2009; 2013
Table 11 - Worldwide transaction value of m-payments - 2008; 2012 - 2013
Table 12 - Number of consumers worldwide using m-payment services - 2008 - 2012
Table 13 - Worldwide transaction value of NFC m-payments - 2009; 2012
Table 14 - Number of mobile banking users worldwide - 2008; 2014
Table 15 - Number of mobile banking users - Asia Pacific; North America; Europe - 2014
Table 16 - Mobile banking users in the USA - 2007; 2009
Table 17 - Worldwide mobile data revenue - 2006; 2008; 2013
Table 18 - Worldwide mobile ad spending - 2008; 2013
Table 19 - Worldwide mobile TV ad spending - 2008; 2013
Table 20 - Worldwide mobile adult content and services revenue - 2005 - 2009
Table 21 - Worldwide text messages sent - 2008 - 2009
Table 22 - Worldwide wagers spent on mobile gambling - 2007; 2013
Table 23 - Worldwide mobile gaming revenue - 2004 - 2009; 2013
Table 24 - Mobile game users - global monthly averages - 2005; 2010
Table 25 - Mobile Internet users worldwide - 2006; 2008; 2012
Table 26 - Mobile Internet users in the US - 2007; 2012
Table 27 - Worldwide LBS revenue - 2007; 2013
Table 28 - Worldwide mobile music revenue - 2006; 2008; 2010; 2012
Table 29 - Worldwide advertising spending - 2008 - 2010
Table 30 - Most popular forms of online advertising - 2009
Table 31 - Worldwide online advertising spending - 2007 - 2010
Table 32 - USA online advertising spending - 2000 - 2009
Table 33 - Worldwide interactive advertising revenue - 2012
Table 34 - Worldwide online game advertising spending - 2007 - 2008; 2012
Table 35 - Worldwide social network advertising spending - 2008 - 2010
Table 36 - USA social network advertising spending - 2008 - 2009
Table 37 - Hulu video streams - 2008 - 2009
Table 38 - US online advertising revenues: top 4 portals - 2006 - 2008
Table 39 - Fastest growing US e-commerce sectors - 2008 - 2009
Table 40 - US online retail sales and annual change - 2003 - 2009
Table 41 - B2C sales in Argentina - 2003 - 2007
Table 42 - E-commerce transactions - 2001 - 2008
Table 43 - Online advertising revenue in South Africa - 2003; 2006 - 2009
Table 44 - E-commerce volume - 2001 - 2008
Table 45 - E-commerce volume by transaction type - 2001 - 2007
Table 46 - Purchase items by Internet shopping - 2008
Table 47 - Internet banking service subscribers - 2001 - 2008
Table 48 - Financial service by delivery channel - 2005 - 2008
Table 49 - Estimated value of B2C e-commerce market in China - 2004 - 2006; 2010
Table 50 - Breakdown of e-commerce users - 2008
Exhibit 1 - Faster broadband speeds offer more than just fast Internet
Exhibit 2 - Explanation: optical fibre
Exhibit 3 - Examples of Web 2.0 developments
Exhibit 4 - Key developments in the digital economy
Exhibit 5 - Most popular online activities worldwide
Exhibit 6 - Popular online content and services
Exhibit 7 - Comparison of popular websites in varous markets
Exhibit 8 - Definition: Cloud computing
Exhibit 9 - Amazon Web Services
Exhibit 10 - Implications of ending net neutrality
Exhibit 11 - Overview of Google Checkout
Exhibit 12 - PayPal - other developments
Exhibit 13 - Examples of popular online dating sites
Exhibit 14 - Apple iTunes - key statistics
Exhibit 15 - Online music sector - key statistics
Exhibit 16 - Top 15 social networks worldwide - 2008
Exhibit 17 - Examples of online VoD sites
Exhibit 18 - Characteristics of virtual worlds
Exhibit 19 - Definition of an online avatar
Exhibit 20 - Examples of virtual worlds
Exhibit 21 - United Nations e-government readiness ranking - top 35 countries - 2008
Exhibit 22 - Popular health related websites in the US
Exhibit 23 - Applications of Microsoft’s Virtual Earth
Exhibit 24 - Online travel sector market summary
Exhibit 25 - Milestones in m-commerce
Exhibit 26 - M-PESA
Exhibit 27 - EA’s change of business model incorporates micropayments
Exhibit 28 - Definition: Near Field Communications (NFC)
Exhibit 29 - Examples of NFC applications
Exhibit 30 - Money transfer services
Exhibit 31 - Mobile facts and figures
Exhibit 32 - What users want
Exhibit 33 - Ranking of key mobile services & content segments
Exhibit 34 - Definition: off-deck
Exhibit 35 - Mobile adult service example: Cherrysauce
Exhibit 36 - Key m-gambling market segments
Exhibit 37 - Most popular mobile Internet activities
Exhibit 38 - Mobile UGC service example: Moko
Exhibit 39 - Facebook becoming mobile social networking leader
Exhibit 40 - Mobile Digital Rights Management (MDRM)
Exhibit 41 - Digital advertising cost considerations
Exhibit 42 - Largest global advertising agencies - top 3 - 2008
Exhibit 43 - Examples of digital advertising agencies
Exhibit 44 - Top sectors for online advertising spending
Exhibit 45 - Online ad deal between Google and Yahoo aborted
Exhibit 46 - Digital media marketing commandments
Exhibit 47 - Anarchy Online by Funcom
Exhibit 48 - Facebook and Nielsen’s marketing alliance
Exhibit 49 - Subway introduces SMS ordering

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