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The future of E-commerce in Asia

The future of E-commerce in Asia
E-commerce is heading East and it's time for brands to start thinking about putting in place a digital strategy for the Asian markets.

Published: 8 Aug, 2013

The future of E-commerce in Asia

E-commerce is booming in Asia.

In fact, E-commerce is doing quite favourably around the globe. According to data from eMarketer, E-commerce is expected to grow to a $1.2 trillion (USD) industry this year.

That amounts to a 17% over the previous year. What's more, it looks like Asia is driving that growth, delivering a 33% year-over-year increase in E-commerce sales.

What's driving the huge growth of E-commerce in the Asian countries of the world? The answer is basically two-fold: sheer population and increased Internet connectivity.

E-commerce goes east

Business-to-consumer E-commerce rose to $332 billion last year. That puts the region right on the heels of North American E-commerce, which came in at $346 billion.

Perhaps even more compelling is that, according to the eMarketer study, this year will see the former underdog come out on top, with Asian sales expected to eclipse North America by nearly $25 billion.

The driving forces behind this change are online sales, thanks to a better-connected population in Asian countries, coupled with those countries' high populations.

Japan, for example, boasts that 80% of its 130 million people are online. Where the web goes, the money surely follows.

The gap is only expected to increase, and brands are wise to reassess where their outreach is focused.

Strength in numbers

Another report (from Econsultancy, September 2012) shows that the biggest E-commerce spend per Internet user comes from the UK, where the average person is spending about $1,736 per year, whereas the average Internet spend in China is around $33 per person, per year.

China happens to boast the most internet shoppers of any country in the world, a whopping 220 million people.

So, as you can tell, the high total E-commerce numbers come through a high number of shoppers - all of whom must be reached with effective and efficient content in order to make the best return on investment possible.

Any way you slice it

With E-commerce projected to reach $708 billion in Asia by 2016, it's time for brands to start thinking about putting in place a well-developed digital strategy for ensuring they collect their slice of the action.

Of course, this all raises key questions for global brands:

  • Is your brand directing enough resources aimed at reaching the Asian market?
  • Is your brand's content optimised and localised for Asian locales?
  • Are you fully prepared for the rise of E-commerce in Asia?