The global distance selling sector is poised to grow by more than 10% annually over the next five years, according to a new report.

Among the key findings of “Shop the World”, a consumer survey from DHL E-commerce spanning 20 countries and 11,000 people, were the conclusions that consumers mainly do research online, choose retailers on price and free delivery, order via their computer, pay with their credit card, and want their purchases delivered fast.

The report found that the annual US online shopping growth rate of 7.3% was below the global average, but the market remained the world’s biggest for distance selling, with 86% of respondents using it and one-third planning to shop online more in the future.

US consumers expect their free deliveries to arrive within six days and want to be kept informed about lead times, delivery dates and the current status of their shipment.

Elsewhere, UK and German consumers use distance selling most (94% of respondents), whereas consumers in India and Mexico are more reluctant to order online.

European consumers place more orders per year (29 for the UK; 18 for Germany) than emerging markets (six for Brazil; five for Mexico), but the latter has the highest growth potential, with consumers planning to shop less from bricks and mortar retailers in the future.

“Over the next five years, the global distance selling sector is expected to grow by more than 10% per annum,” said Jürgen Gerdes, CEO post – e-commerce – parcel at Deutsche Post DHL. “This development affects almost every industry sector."