A.T. Kearney’s Global Retail E-Commerce Index is basically the olympics of the e-commerce world, and this year the United States brought home the gold. The index determines the top 30 countries for e-commerce in the world. Of course, large countries like the United States, China and the United Kingdom have a significant advantage simply because of size, but the index also recognizes smaller countries with promising markets and growth potential. The index considers nine factors including: macroeconomic factors, consumer behavior, technology adoption, infrastructure and potential for growth. The 2015 Index named the United States the world’s largest e-commerce powerhouse with a $238 billion market. America’s 15 percent online retail growth from 2014 knocked China into second place, followed by the U.K., Japan, Germany and France. The list also welcomes Mexico, Spain, Austria, and Saudi Arabia to the top 30 ranking this year -- these are some emerging markets to watch as they continue to establish themselves as e-commerce leaders. The report also identified four common themes in e-commerce practices around the globe that have the biggest effect on business strategy, channels, and customers. Internationalization allows businesses to explore new markets without physically being present in said country. Online shopping is becoming increasingly secure and common, meaning shopping online and on mobile devices is trending upwards. Another indicator of growth is the rise of initial public offerings (IPOs) and the success many companies have celebrated as a result of going public. Furthermore, the world is connected -- meaning as long as people continue their internet addiction, e-commerce will continue to boom. Lastly, the trend for balance is surprising beneficial. Business aren’t closing up brick-and-mortar stores to be online only. E-commerce companies are exploring expanding into physical stores and vice versa. Consumers like to physically experience items before they invest, yet online shopping is hard to resist because it’s oh-so convenient. People want the best of both worlds -- online and physical -- meaning businesses should want to provide that duality for their shoppers. Remember, the customer is always right -- give ‘em what they want. Some of the most popular online shopping categories include electronics, apparel, books, and tickets. Household items and groceries are the least commonly purchased online items. The moral of the story here -- there’s always room to grow. If your business is ready to improve its e-commerce, give us a shout. We’d be happy to discuss the possibilities surrounding your company’s relationship with the digital world.