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Despite COVID-19, the B2C E-Commerce market in Asia was expected to accelerate in 2020

The Asia-Pacific B2C E-Commerce market continued accelerating despite the COVID-19 outbreak and outweighing in terms of digital commerce market value the other significant regions of the world in 2020. The share of online sales in the Asia-Pacific region was estimated to constitute more than 60% of global digital retail sales in 2020. Moreover, over the year, the Internet economy, which includes the gross merchandise value of E-Commerce, online travel, transport & food and online media, witnessed a development as well from 2019 to 2020, except for the online travel segment, which declined considerably in 2020. However, the GMV of the online travel sector is forecasted to grow significantly through 2025, along with other segments (E-Commerce, online media and transport & food). As per another source, online travel sales value was also predicted to increase, and in some nations, such as Singapore and China, even see a twofold increase in a value per capita to USD 800 – USD 1,400 from 2020 to 2025.

“The share of online sales in the Asia-Pacific region was estimated to constitute more than 60% of global digital retail sales in 2020.”

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, the digital commerce of Asia-Pacific was estimated to constitute 62.6% of online sales globally in 2020.

The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the enhancement of online sales in the region in 2020

The pandemic also contributed to some extent to the development of digital commerce in many nations of the region. The leaders in online sales volume were China, Japan and South Korea. The Chinese online retail sales, for example, reached EUR 1.34 trillion, including the revenue from physical goods digital sales. Moreover, the share of online physical goods sales held a quarter of overall digital retail revenue of consumer goods sales in 2020. Japan was the second country in the region with an advanced online trade market. Although Japan was predominantly a cash-based country in 2019, this has moderated somewhat with the pandemic, and the frequency of electronic payments with cards estimated to reach 2.1% in 2020 from 0.8% in 2019. The other countries included in the report with rapidly developing E-Commerce markets, include Singapore, Indonesia, India where online sales accelerated fast as the pandemic contributed to favorable conditions for marketing and purchasing online in 2020.

“Although Japan was a cash-based country in 2019, with the pandemic the frequency of electronic payments with cards estimated to reach 2.1% in 2020 from 0.8% in 2019.”

Online sales of physical goods comprised a quarter of total online retail revenue of consumer goods sales in January 2020 – November 2020.


The COVID-19 pandemic impacted the consumers’ products preferences when shopping online

Concerning shopping behaviors of consumers, the most common goods categories purchased online varied in different countries amid the coronavirus pandemic in 2020. For instance, Japanese consumers mostly shopped online for apparel and footwear, with an estimated sales share of 17% in 2020 and an increased forecast to 27% in 2022, while the grocery and food were the least popular, with an expected share of 3% in 2020 to grow to 8% in 2022. Unlike in South Korea, where the two most online bought categories were “food products and household goods”. Indian consumers mainly opted for online shopping in “clothing/footwear”, “electronics” and “restaurants/take out” segments in 2020.

Throughout most product categories, over 50% of Indians in 3 age groups chose in-store purchases over online ones in 2020.

The most commonly used E-Commerce platforms amid COVID-19 in the region were Amazon, Rakuten, Lazada and Shopee in 2020

In terms of E-Commerce platforms, several players appeared to be leaders in the countries of the APAC region. Among the top companies were Alibaba, being in the top 5 E-Commerce platforms in China in 2020, JD.com, Pinduoduo, Amazon, Rakuten Ichiba and others. These platforms gained a significant number of new users over 2020, generated a considerable amount of sales and were chosen as the most preferred ones. For instance, 69.7% and 68.7% of Japanese online consumers opted for Amazon and Rakuten Ichiba, respectively, as the most used platform for shopping in 2020. Other E-Commerce players popular in the Southeast Asian region include Shopee, the top shopping website based on the number of monthly visits in 2020, Tokopedia, Lazada, and other companies.




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