Global
E-Tailing
2025

A study by Deutsche Post DHL

Illustrative clouds with rainbow, bird and a flag with ones and zeros

How we live and shop in the year 2025: four possible developments.

The “Global E-Tailing 2025” study contains four scenarios which focus on the global trends and developments in the e-commerce sector and on their implications for the logistics industry over the next 11 years.

Explore future scenarios

Scenario 1

HYBRID CONSUMER BEHAVIOR IN CONVERGENT WORLDS OF RETAILING

Economy: While the Western countries grow at a moderate rate, the emerging economies in Asia are the driving force.

Society: Social differences have increased due to an achievement-oriented society, in which personal success at work determines people’s life.

Technology: By moderate progress, smartphone, tablet and interactive displays in cities offer interfaces to virtual worlds.

Retail: Online retail is dominant and scores with timely deliveries, while stores are largely used as showrooms.

Logistics: In urban centers, convenience and speed are standard – orders are delivered the same day.

Focus Countries & Trendspots

Click to find out more about global trends und special regional factors.

Significance of e-tailing in the retailing sector in 2025

In a comparison of different countries, China, South Korea and the United States have the largest proportions of e-tailing in relation to their total retailing volumes. The amount of e-tailing in the other regions is increasing at a lower rate.

Australia Indonesia South Africa
Brazil Nigeria South Korea
China Eastern Europe** USA
India Russia Western Europe*

Growth in e-tailing: low medium high

E-tailing includes online-only retailing in addition to mixed online/offline forms.

The countries of western and eastern Europe are not shown in further detail in this graphic, since the regional differences are not significant in global terms.

Proportion of online-only retailing in 2025

20 %USA
20 %China
20 %Western and Eastern Europe*
15 %Emerging countries

Proportion of “hybrid” forms of retailing in 2025

25 %USA
20 %China
20 %Western and Eastern Europe*
20 %Emerging countries

Source: Z_punkt The Foresight Company, Cologne

E-tailing sales for different product categories in 2025

(including online/offline hybrid forms)

Books
Clothing and shoes
Consumer electronics/electrical equipment
Leisure articles and equipment
Computers and accessories
Furniture and interior decor
Household appliances
Drugstore articles, cosmetics and perfume
Foodstuffs
Medical products
Vehicles and vehicle accessories
Jewelry and watches
METHODOLOGY:

The result is based on averaged assessments by experts which have been coordinated with the conditions of the scenario. The ratings do not indicate the substantial regional differences in individual product categories.

RECTANGLE SIZE:

E-tailing sales in the respective product category (including online retailing and online/offline hybrid forms)

NUMBER OF ARROWS:

Growth in e-tailing between 2013 and 2025 (1 arrow = little growth, 2 = moderate growth, 3 = strong growth)

Source: Z_punkt The Foresight Company, Cologne

*Western Europe: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Republic of Ireland, Spain, Sweden and United Kingdom.

**Eastern Europe: Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Turkey.

Scenario 2

SELF-PRESENTATION IN VIRTUAL COMMUNITIES

Economy: The global development of an affluent middle-class results in widespread prosperity.

Society: Social values shift from work to leisure-oriented. Self-presentation and related lifestyle topics also shape consumer behavior.

Technology: So-called wearables lead to continuous measuring and optimizing of one’s own behavior regarding nutrition and fitness, affecting the daily life significantly.

Retail: Large online retailing platforms serve the mainstream, niche platforms flourish. Department stores score with new shopping experiences.

Logistics: The boom in online retail leads to regulated deliveries in urban areas to avoid traffic congestion.

Focus Countries & Trendspots

Click to find out more about global trends und special regional factors.

Significance of e-tailing in the retailing sector in 2025

In Australia, Brazil, China, eastern Europe, South Africa, South Korea, the USA and western Europe, the share of e-tailing in total retail volume will increase significantly compared to now. Even in India, Indonesia, Russia and Nigeria, the volume of online retail will rise, although growth will be lower compared to other regions.

Australia Indonesia South Africa
Brazil Nigeria South Korea
China Eastern Europe** USA
India Russia Western Europe*

Growth in e-tailing: low medium high

E-tailing includes online-only retailing in addition to mixed online/offline forms.

The countries of western and eastern Europe are not shown in further detail in this graphic, since the regional differences are not significant in global terms.

Proportion of online-only retailing in 2025

30 %USA
30 %Western and Eastern Europe*
20 %Emerging countries

Proportion of “hybrid” forms of retailing in 2025

30 %USA
25 %Western and Eastern Europe*
25 %Emerging countries

Source: Z_punkt The Foresight Company, Cologne

E-tailing sales for different product categories in 2025

(including online/offline hybrid forms)

Clothing and shoes
Leisure articles and equipment
Consumer electronics/electrical equipment
Computers and accessories
Books
Furniture and interior decor
Household appliances
Vehicles and vehicle accessories
Drugstore articles, cosmetics and perfume
Foodstuffs
Medical products
Jewelry and watches
METHODOLOGY:

The result is based on averaged assessments by experts which have been coordinated with the conditions of the scenario. The ratings do not indicate the substantial regional differences in individual product categories.

RECTANGLE SIZE:

E-tailing sales in the respective product category (including online retailing and online/offline hybrid forms)

NUMBER OF ARROWS:

Growth in e-tailing between 2013 and 2025 (1 arrow = little growth, 2 = moderate growth, 3 = strong growth)

Source: Z_punkt The Foresight Company, Cologne

*Western Europe: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Republic of Ireland, Spain, Sweden and United Kingdom.

**Eastern Europe: Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Turkey.

Scenario 3

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE IN THE DIGITAL RETAILING SPHERE

Economy: The high pace of IT innovation boosts the global economy, despite significant volatility over the past years.

Society: Human life is shaped by innovation. On the other hand data protection is an issue, cybercrime is an ever-present threat.

Technology: Smart glasses, smart lenses and connected mobile and energy systems create an omnipresent, advanced digital culture.

Retail: In online retail, intelligent avatars will order daily consumer goods independently from customized offerings. Brick-and-mortar retailers operate with detailed customer profiles as well.

Logistics: Retailers and logistics companies benefit from predictive purchasing to meet consumers wishes with foresight. They partly use drones to deliver goods within one hour.

Focus Countries & Trendspots

Click to find out more about global trends und special regional factors.

Significance of e-tailing in the retailing sector in 2025

In almost all listed regions, the share of e-tailing in total retail volume is increasing significantly. The only exceptions are India and Nigeria. Although the market share of e-tailing is rising in these countries as well, the level of growth is lower than in the other regions.

Australia Indonesia South Africa
Brazil Nigeria South Korea
China Eastern Europe** USA
India Russia Western Europe*

Growth in e-tailing: low medium high

E-tailing includes online-only retailing in addition to mixed online/offline forms.

The countries of western and eastern Europe are not shown in further detail in this graphic, since the regional differences are not significant in global terms.

Proportion of online-only retailing in 2025

40 %South Korea
40 %USA
40 %Western and Eastern Europe*
30 %Emerging countries

Proportion of “hybrid” forms of retailing in 2025

40 %South Korea
35 %USA
30 %Western and Eastern Europe*
30 %Emerging countries

Source: Z_punkt The Foresight Company, Cologne

E-tailing sales for different product categories in 2025

(including online/offline hybrid forms)

Clothing and shoes
Leisure articles and equipment
Consumer electronics/electrical equipment
Computers and accessories
Books
Furniture and interior decor
Household appliances
Drugstore articles, cosmetics and perfume
Foodstuffs
Medical products
Vehicles and vehicle accessories
Jewelry and watches
METHODOLOGY:

The result is based on averaged assessments by experts which have been coordinated with the conditions of the scenario. The ratings do not indicate the substantial regional differences in individual product categories.

RECTANGLE SIZE:

E-tailing sales in the respective product category (including online retailing and online/offline hybrid forms)

NUMBER OF ARROWS:

Growth in e-tailing between 2013 and 2025 (1 arrow = little growth, 2 = moderate growth, 3 = strong growth)

Source: Z_punkt The Foresight Company, Cologne

*Western Europe: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Republic of Ireland, Spain, Sweden and United Kingdom.

**Eastern Europe: Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Turkey.

Scenario 4

COLLABORATIVE CONSUMPTION IN A REGIONALIZED RETAILING LANDSCAPE

Economy: Thanks to high energy and raw material prices, the global economy is stagnating and the regional economy is gaining importance.

Society: Sustainability and energy efficiency determine consumer behavior. Personal possession is losing importance in favor of leasing and sharing models.

Technology: Modular machines and technical equipment prolong the lifetime of products and eases maintenance and repair.

Retail: Online and traditional retail are mostly separated. Leasing and sharing models are spreading along with regional DIY shops.

Logistics: Logistics companies are expanding their portfolio with spare-parts-logistics and repair services. Regional shipments are partly taken over by taxi companies.

Focus Countries & Trendspots

Click to find out more about global trends und special regional factors.

Significance of e-tailing in the retailing sector in 2025

Compared with the other scenarios, the amount of e-tailing in relation to the overall volume of retailing in all the regions considered is much smaller. However, there is no question of stagnation in comparison with 2014. E-tailing is growing – even in Brazil, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Russia and South Africa – albeit on a very low level.

Australia Indonesia South Africa
Brazil Nigeria South Korea
China Eastern Europe** USA
India Russia Western Europe*

Growth in e-tailing: low medium high

E-tailing includes online-only retailing in addition to mixed online/offline forms.

The countries of western and eastern Europe are not shown in further detail in this graphic, since the regional differences are not significant in global terms.

Proportion of online-only retailing in 2025

15 %USA
15 %Western and Eastern Europe*
10 %Emerging countries

Proportion of “hybrid” forms of retailing in 2025

10 %USA
10 %Western and Eastern Europe*
10 %Emerging countries

Source: Z_punkt The Foresight Company, Cologne

E-tailing sales for different product categories in 2025

(including online/offline hybrid forms)

Books
Furniture and interior decor
Household appliances
Vehicles and vehicle accessories
Foodstuffs
Clothing and shoes
Leisure articles and equipment
Consumer electronics/electrical equipment
Computers and accessories
Drugstore articles, cosmetics and perfume
Medical products
Jewelry and watches
METHODOLOGY:

The result is based on averaged assessments by experts which have been coordinated with the conditions of the scenario. The ratings do not indicate the substantial regional differences in individual product categories.

RECTANGLE SIZE:

E-tailing sales in the respective product category (including online retailing and online/offline hybrid forms)

NUMBER OF ARROWS:

Growth in e-tailing between 2013 and 2025 (1 arrow = little growth, 2 = moderate growth, 3 = strong growth)

Source: Z_punkt The Foresight Company, Cologne

*Western Europe: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Republic of Ireland, Spain, Sweden and United Kingdom.

**Eastern Europe: Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Turkey.

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