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ASIA-PACIFIC PERSPECTIVE

Asia-Pacific is expected to become the leading region for e-commerce sales globally in 2015, representing 33.4% of the total retail sales, compared with 31.7% in North America and 24.6% in Western Europe.3

According to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), more than 36.9% of individuals and 39% of households in the Asia-Pacific region have internet access in 2015 with a 42.3% mobile broadband penetration rate.4

With the global spread of internet access to 40% of the world’s population5, e-commerce has brought new ways on how commodities and services are being purchased, sold and advertised. Business-to-consumer (B2C) e-commerce sales in the Asia-Pacific region broke the US$1 trillion mark in 2012. By the end of 2015, the Asia-Pacific region will become the largest regional e-commerce market in the world, with consumers projected to outspend their North American counterparts by US$40 billion and account for more than 45% of all online buyers worldwide.6

Understanding consumer demographics and spending habits is quickly becoming the key to identifying strategic growth markets. While reliable statistics on online shoppers in the Asia-Pacific region are still limited, analysts suggest they closely resemble their European and North American counterparts who come from the middle class and between the ages of 25 and 64.7

Existing rules and regulations on the entry of foreign investments in e-commerce activities in some countries are considered as major deterrents to the expansion of e-commerce in the region. Some of the most promising markets for foreign investment in e-commerce remain off-limits to foreign companies, such as in India. Some may even feature significant barriers to market entry such as the requirement that companies establish a physical retail shop before establishing an online store, as in China. Consideration of these limitations and barriers is critical when evaluating opportunities for investment in e-commerce worldwide.8

In terms of social media usage in the region, Facebook remains on top followed by Twitter.9

Modes of payment still vary country by country in the region. In a study conducted by MasterCard, 53% of respondents voted that credit card is their most preferred mode of payment.10 However, credit card penetration remains low in some countries like Indonesia and Thailand which primarily pay through cash.11

 

3– Demandware and Singapore (2015). Developing eCommerce Market Entry Strategies in Asia-Pacific – Advisory Report 2015. Retrieved October 26, 2015, from http://www.demandware.fr/uploads/resources/Whitepaper_MarketEntryAsia_ENG.pdf

4– International Telecommunication Union. (2015, May 1). ICT Facts and Figures. Retrieved October 26, 2015, from http://www.itu.int/en/ITU-D/Statistics/Documents/facts/ICTFactsFigures2015.pdf

5– Retrieved from: http://www.internetlivestats.com/internet-users/

6– Asia Briefing/Dezan Shira& Associates (2014, May 9). E-commerce Across Asia: Trends and Developments 2014. Retrieved October 26, 2015, from http://www.physeon.eu/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/E-commerce-across-asia-trends-developments-2014.pdf

7– Asia Briefing/Dezan Shira& Associates (2014, May 9). E-commerce Across Asia: Trends and Developments 2014. Retrieved October 26, 2015, from http://www.physeon.eu/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/E-commerce-across-asia-trends-developments-2014.pdf

8– Asia Briefing/DezanShira& Associates (2014, May 9). E-commerceAcross Asia: Trends and Developments 2014. Retrieved October 26, 2015, from http://www.physeon.eu/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/E-commerce-across-asia-trends-developments-2014.pdf

9– Waggener Edstrom Communications (WE). (2014, February 5). Content Matters: The Impact of Brand Storytelling Online In 2014. Retrieved October 26, 2015, from http://www.socialsamosa.com/2014/02/impact-brand-storytelling-2014/

10–Master Card Worldwide. (2008). Online Shopping in Asia/Pacific – Patterns, Trends and Future Growth. Retrieved October 26, 2015, from https://www.mastercard.com/us/company/en/insights/pdfs/2008/Asia_Pacific_Online_Shop.pdf

11– Ibid

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