For the first time since the Internet's inception, e-commerce sales exceeded $1 trillion during 2012, according to eMarketer.
The milestone represented a 21.1 percent increase in sales from 2011. During 2013, the firm believes e-commerce sales will grow by 18.3 percent, which will result in $1.3 trillion in worldwide e-commerce sales.
North America is expected to lose its position as the leading e-commerce market to the Asia-Pacific region. In 2012, Asia-Pacific's share of global e-commerce spending stood at 30.5 percent, with North America boasting a 33.5 percent share. This year, though, the Asia-Pacific region is estimated to account for 33.4 percent of spending, followed by North America's forecasted 31.5 percent share.
During 2012, Americans spent $343.4 billion on goods purchased online. According to eMarketer, that figure is expected to increase to $384.8 billion in 2013, while China is anticipated to spend $181.6 billion.
Consumers spent $35 billion in 2012's holiday shopping season, with U.S. shoppers spending a record $7 billion during the week of December 8 until December 14. The week preceding that saw e-commerce sales surpassing $1 billion on three individual days. Cyber Monday, meanwhile, set the record of online spending in a single day with $1.46 billion in sales.