Hamburg-based business intelligence organization yStats.com, has published a new major report „Asia-Pacific B2C E-Commerce Market 2014“, indicating that this world region is the fastest growing online retail market. The diverse region is home to some of the most advanced B2C E-Commerce markets worldwide, such as Japan and South Korea, while it also includes three out of five fastest growing online retail markets globally: China, India and Indonesia, as well as many emerging markets whose B2C E-Commerce potential is not yet untapped.
Asia-Pacific is the fastest growing region on the global B2C E-Commerce market. Between 2013 and 2018 it is forecasted to grow by over 20% annually and surpass North America to become the number one region worldwide in terms of B2C E-Commerce sales. The large population base coupled with increasing Internet connectivity and disposable incomes set the stage for this rapid growth.
The booming Asia – Pacific market is a field of activity for both regional and global players. The three largest companies based in the region are China-based Alibaba and JD.com and Japan’s Rakuten. While Alibaba and JD.com shine on the global stage through IPO offerings, Rakuten pursues customers around the globe by launching marketplaces beyond the home region. Among the global brands with the large shares in the region are Amazon, eBay and Yahoo.
China is the largest online shopping market in the Asia-Pacific region and second largest worldwide. The number of online shoppers, at over 300 million in 2013 continues to grow as Internet penetration continues. The hottest trends on the booming E-Commerce market in China are the development of mobile and social channels for online shopping, growing popularity of group-buying websites and the rise in purchases of luxury goods online.
The number two market in Asia-Pacific and number three worldwide in terms of online retail sales is Japan. Though the market is one of the most advanced, further growth of close to 10% is still expected, primarily from development of new channels, such as M-Commerce, whose share on total retail has reached double-digit figures.
South Korea is also among the B2C E-Commerce leaders. Online shoppers in this country are among the most experienced with online shopping, paying with credit cards online and having the goods delivered to the doorstep through courier services. Moreover, they are the trend-setters in mobile shopping, as the practice of shopping through messaging apps and scanning codes with smartphones at virtual stores were developed there and are spreading throughout the region and the world.
Another regional front-runner is Australia. Despite a smaller population compared to some of the huge nations in Asia-Pacific, Australia has one of the highest B2C E-Commerce sales rates, reaching a high one-digit percentage of total retail sales. Internet penetration is one of the highest in the region and over three quarters of Internet users make purchases online.
A rising star on the regional B2C E-Commerce scene is Indonesia. While the sales are still below 1% of the total retail market and two thirds of the population does not yet have Internet access, the prospects for growth are bright. The growth rate in 2013 was already one of the highest worldwide, and improving infrastructure, growing Internet and mobile penetration on the large population are expected to contribute to further sale’s surge.
B2C E-Commerce is growing fast in India also, with rates of above 50% and further strong growth projected for the next five years. Mobile commerce especially has great potential for development, as over 90% of Internet users access the web through mobile connections. More foreign players may invest into the market’s growth if the country’s government decides to ease the FDI restriction in the B2C E-Commerce sector.
Another B2C E-Commerce hopeful is Thailand. The country already shows top rates in mobile shopping: users actively adopt shopping options integrated in popular messaging apps, and actively buy and exchange goods through social networks. Meanwhile, its neighbor from the Southeast Asia, Malaysia, boasts one of the most developed infrastructures for online shopping and strong growth perspectives.