May 24, 2018
For merchants looking outside their borders for attractive e-commerce markets, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East should be primary targets, according to new research from online payment provider PPRO. The 13 markets on the list all showed annual e-commerce sales growth of 25 percent or more. Indonesia, whose e-commerce spend grew 78 percent last year, topped the list. In addition to growth, the report includes other valuable information about each market (e.g., population, online population, payment methods in use, Internet penetration, average online spend, top segments and more). Indonesia’s incredible growth also comes with a population of more than 250 million and the fact that e-commerce currently accounts for less than 2.5 percent of total retail—so, ample room to keep growing.
China makes the list with 27-percent e-commerce growth last year. Its online population is about to pass the 700 million mark (more than twice the total U.S. population) and average annual online spend per person is $1,800. So, while growth has decelerated over the last several years, the opportunity in China remains enormous.
“For Westerners used to mature economies and, in most economic metrics, single-figure growth rates, the scale of the online market and the pace of growth in the world’s emerging markets are often hard to comprehend,” the authors wrote in the report. “Consider this: already today, 40 percent of the world’s e-commerce sales are made in China. And the Chinese e-commerce market is still growing at a rate of 27 percent a year.”
For U.S. merchants, looking closer to home should be in everyone’s plan. Mexico’s e-commerce market grew 59 percent last year, second only to Indonesia. Payment methods also are familiar in the country, with 36 percent of online transactions taking place via payment cards. South American countries Argentina and Colombia also made the list.