Retail & Ecommerce


The emergence of new companies selling direct online has been a big story for some time. Mattress brands Casper and Emma, luggage maker Away, beauty company Glossier, and garment retailer Happy Socks were among the first highly successful direct-to-consumer (D2C) firms, many of them based in Europe.

Despite a challenging year for retail in 2020, we estimate that worldwide retail ecommerce sales posted a 27.6% growth rate for the year, with sales reaching well over $4 trillion. This represents a substantial uptick from our mid-pandemic assessment that global ecommerce would decelerate to 16.5% growth and demonstrates the remarkable extent to which consumers transitioned to ecommerce last year.

Pandemic accelerates livestreaming growth in China: The format will grow rapidly at 10.6% in 2021, driven by social apps and ecommerce livestreams.

US shoppers are buying more internationally. Less than a third of US digital shoppers made a cross-border purchase last year, but that number is growing steadily as marketplaces like Amazon make international commerce more accessible.