The United States might be one of the world’s leading superpowers when it comes to e-commerce but all eyes are on Asia-Pacific where an online spending boom is brewing.
The emerging market is expected to gain about 80 million new online shoppers and grow faster than any other region at a rate of 35.2% year over year to hit $875 billion in 2015, according to new figures from eMarketer.
And there’s more to the market than China and Japan: Shoppers in rural parts of South Korea, Indonesia, India, Thailand and Malaysia making online purchases from mobile devices will fuel much of the growth, researchers said.
In India alone, for instance, smartphone shopping has grown by more than 100 percent over the past two years, as per a recent study by MasterCard, while Google and A.T. Kearney anticipate the country will have 480 million mobile Internet users by 2017.
As Monica Pearl, forecasting director for eMarketer, told Internet Retailer, “Especially in rural regions where you might have less availability of local markets, opportunities to get goods that may be easier to get online, that’s really starting to grow the market.”
Globally, eMarketer expects e-commerce sales will surpass $3.5 trillion within the next five years, with online purchases making up 12.4% of all retail sales by 2019. And don’t count the U.S. out of the equation—the market research firm predicts e-tail sales will exceed $548 billion within four years, with consumers more willing to buy big-ticket items from online sellers.
“Frequency of purchases and higher-value transactions are really growing online,” Pearl confirmed.