eCommerce in Asia: On the Verge of Something Big

Although Internet penetration in Asia lingers at only 26%, it seems likely that Asians will be faster to adopt online shopping habits than their counterparts in Western Europe and the United States. In fact, according to eMarketer, ecommerce sales in China are expected to lead global growth with a forecasted 94.2% compound annual rate from 2010 to 2015, in contrast to the U.S., which is forecast to grow 12% during the same period, despite boasting an Internet penetration rate of 78%.

Clearly, what Asia lacks in penetration, it makes up for in sheer volume. Emerging markets with huge populations like China, India, and Indonesia help Asia account for nearly 50% (44.8%) of all Internet users in the world. And each active online shopper in the Asia-Pacific region spends an average of $607, up almost $80 from 2011 (eMarketer).

Brands and e-retailers might struggle with the vast disparity between emerging and developed markets throughout Asia, but the affordable access mobile technology provides is sure to help close the gap. While smartphone penetration varies throughout Asia (currently 20% in Japan and 30% in China), a 2011 Nielsen study indicated that nearly 50% of respondents in South East Asia planned to purchase a smartphone in the next twelve months.

Growth is inevitable in the eCommerce space, and opportunities abound in Asia. Is your brand ready?

Contributed by Integer Singapore