KEY POINTS

  • Emerging markets are going to be essential for e-commerce growth, as retailers in developed markets may soon reach saturation in terms of consumer growth. Although the US and China both lead in e-commerce at the moment, growth potential in these countries is decreasing as more and more consumers begin shopping online.
  • This report compiles several e-commerce snapshots, which together highlight the most notable emerging markets in various regions. Each provides an overview of the e-commerce industry in a particular country, discusses influential retailers, and provides insights into the opportunities and challenges for that specific domestic industry.
  • India, Southeast Asia, and Latin America are worth keeping an eye on. These regions are expected to grow at compound annual growth rates (CAGRs) of 31%, 32%, and 16%, respectively, through 2021. However, there are clear leaders within each segment when it comes to e-commerce potential.
    • India is the clear overall leader in e-commerce potential, as it represents a massive, yet largely untapped, market for online retailers. It has the second-highest population and the seventh-largest economy in the world.
    • Indonesia's rising middle class and large population will likely make it the biggest e-commerce market in Southeast Asia. However, Malaysia's active government and Singapore's strong infrastructure and strategic location could drive notable growth in each country.
    • Latin America's current leader is Mexico, due to its stable economy and large urban population. However, Brazil's online sales are on track to grow 12% in 2017, which could threaten Mexico's status. And, as its economy recovers from a recession, Brazil will likely see a return to the 20-28% e-commerce growth rates it boasted prior to the crisis. Meanwhile, Chile’s e-commerce market is still in nascent stages; it accounts for only about 2.5% of total retail sales. But, it's expected to grow at an explosive 31% CAGR through 2020.
  • These countries are poised for growth due to rapidly growing internet penetration and burgeoning middle classes. Many of these countries have experienced strong growth in internet penetration, particularly due to increased smartphone penetration. Additionally, as more people in these countries join the middle class, they'll have more disposable income, increasing the potential customer base for e-commerce players.
  • There are also common barriers to e-commerce growth across these regions, such as poor infrastructure and cash-based societies. Infrastructure in these regions [...]