Unpacking E-commerce

Business Models, Trends and Policies

image of Unpacking E-commerce

As digital transformation has accelerated, the e-commerce landscape has become increasingly dynamic. New players have emerged at the same time that established actors have taken on new roles; some barriers to e-commerce at the firm, individual and country levels have been overcome, while other barriers have emerged. Innovative business models have transformed buyer-seller relationships and pushed out the frontier of what is possible to buy and sell online. This report analyses new and emerging e-commerce business models, examines e-commerce trends along a range of dimensions, and offers new insights on the policies needed to exploit the opportunities and mitigate the challenges of unlocking the potential of e-commerce for all.


Tapping into New Data Sources

Measuring e-commerce, and digital transformation more broadly, is complex. While national statistics provide evidence on some broad trends, new tools are needed to better understand e-commerce dynamics at the micro level. One such tool is the Future of Business Survey, which provides monthly data on enterprises with a Facebook page. This Annex analyses e-commerce using data from businesses in 42 countries to shed new light on various dimensions of e-commerce, including with respect to firm size, gender and export dynamics.



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