Report: China Best E-Commerce Opportunity Worldwide, U.S. Ranks Third

Nov. 21, 2013

China topped a list of the best e-commerce markets in the world released this week by Chicago-based management consulting firm A.T. Kearney. The company’s 2013 Global Retail E-Commerce Index ranked 30 developed and emerging markets and incorporated national rates of mobile phone ownership and social network use in addition to population, Internet penetration and other variables. Japan placed second behind China, with the U.S., the U.K. and South Korea rounding out the top five.

“Consumers in developing markets are fast adopting behaviors similar to those in more developed countries,” said Mike Moriarty, A.T. Kearney partner and co-author of the study. “For example, mobile phones per capita in Russia (1.8) and the United Arab Emirates (1.7) are much higher than many developed markets, including the United States (1.0) and France (1.0). Consumers in these countries use their phones to research products, compare prices and seek input from their friends on social media.”

In addition to the e-commerce opportunity represented by the overall list, A.T. Kearney also includes 10 “small gems” that lack huge populations (less than 10 million) but have a robust technological infrastructure and an active online community. Singapore, Hong Kong, Slovakia, New Zealand, Finland, United Arab Emirates, Norway, Ireland, Denmark and Switzerland comprise the small gems of the Index. India, despite the second-largest population in the world, failed to make the overall list due to what A.T. Kearny termed “major infrastructure issues.”