Asia Pacific Leads Way in eCommerce Sales Growth
With emerging regions gaining greater access to high-speed Internet, the potential audience for eCommerce sales growth is significant. According to the latest forecast from eMarketer, eCommerce sales are expected to grow rapidly this year, increasing 20.1 percent to reach $1.5 trillion globally. New markets, specifically the Asia Pacific market, are expected to drive a significant portion of eCommerce sales growth.
Last year, consumers spent approximately $1.2 trillion making purchases online.
Over the next three years, the volume of eCommerce sales is expected to continue to grow, eventually reaching $2.3 trillion by 2017, the study found.
“In 2014, for the first time, consumers in Asia Pacific will spend more on eCommerce purchases than those in North America, making it the largest regional eCommerce market in the world,” the eMarketer report stated. “This year alone, B2C eCommerce sales are expected to reach $525.2 billion in the region, compared with $482.6 billion in North America.”
The eMarketer report included markets such as Asia Pacific, Argentina, Mexico, Brazil, Russia, Italy and Canada as key contributors in driving eCommerce sales growth worldwide. Conversely, established economies such as the United States and the United Kingdom are quickly reaching the point of maturity and aren’t forecast to see quite as strong growth as Asia Pacific over the years to come.
Appealing to international customers to increase eCommerce Sales
For many businesses, these emerging markets can represent new opportunities to expand and generate eCommerce sales.
Additionally, depending on the location of retailers, extending their reach across borders may not be a huge logistical challenge – for example, a U.S.-based merchant could easily start selling products to Canadian consumers.
That said, expanding globally can be difficult depending on how scalable a retailer’s eCommerce operations are. Selling to new audiences will put additional strain on merchants’ supply chains and will challenge them to fill orders in a timely fashion given the complexity of foreign requirements and distance. In some cases, retailers may even want to consider hiring additional third-party delivery services to help expedite the time between when a purchase is made and when customers receives the item in question.
When it comes to reaching new customers, eCommerce has always had the advantage of being borderless – it doesn’t matter where people are from, because as long as they have access to the Web, they can browse any website. With more people in Asia Pacific and emerging regions shopping online, retailers should consider taking advantage of international eCommerce sales growth as they move forward in 2014.