You are using an old browser. Update your browser to the latest version for an optimal experience.

Emerging markets 1 Article hero - Background texture
News Overview > Exploring Emerging Markets – Opportunities and Challenges for UK Exporters

Exploring Emerging Markets – Opportunities and Challenges for UK Exporters

30 April 2024 |

Share this article

What are emerging markets? These are the quickly developing countries that it might be worth targeting. An excellent example is Vietnam– the % of consumers purchasing products online in this country has doubled in the last year. In this article, we shall explore the most promising opportunities that you should consider when expanding your e-commerce business cross-border.

What are emerging markets 1

What Are the Emerging Markets Worth Your Attention?

So, what are the emerging markets that you should target? These are mostly the ones you’ll find in Asia. Let’s take a look at them now.


Vietnam is, perhaps, one of the most rapidly growing markets that emerges as a good target for cross-border e-commerce. According to the Datareportal Digital 2023 report, only 18.7% of the population purchased products online in Vietnam in 2022. This year’s report shows a major rise in this aspect, with 40.4% of consumers purchasing goods online.

The Vietnamese purchase mostly consumer electronics, with online sales in this segment reaching $4.11 billion. The second segment, fashion, equals to only $1.79 billion, with food in the third ($1.21) billion and all other categories below 500 million (excluding beverages, which are slightly above: $505.2). In practice, this means that the first two categories are the main goods you should target Vietnamese consumers with.

Vietnam Challenges

As an emerging market, Vietnam is targeted by major e-commerce stores from neighbouring countries, such as China. This can get quite challenging, as Chinese e-commerce stores offer competitive prices and simply spend less on shipping.

Vietnamese consumers, on the other hand, put free delivery as their main online purchase driver, with coupons and discounts in the second. It might be difficult to compete in these aspects with Chinese e-commerce stores, which is the main obstacle that you need to overcome.


Malaysia is a steady market, with a firm 50.4% of the population purchasing goods online in the past two years (according to Datareportal). It’s a market characterised by high electronics and fashion sales ($2.32 billion and $2.01 billion accordingly), where mobile phones dominate the commercial Google searches.

Malaysia Challenges

The main challenge for you as an e-commerce owner is to… gather customer reviews. Malaysian online shoppers often point out such reviews as the driving force behind their sales, so you need to acquire them if you want your business to thrive in this market. Additionally, the market is dominated by electronics and fashion, so it might be extremely hard to penetrate it with a different kind of products.


Singapore is yet another emerging market. A lot of consumers there purchase a product/service online at least once a week – the rate is 58.8%. The most popular products here are:

  • electronics – $1.41 billion

  • fashion – $990.9 million

  • food – $510.2 million

  • luxury goods – $472.3 million

  • beverages – $372.0 million

This makes it the perfect market for popular e-commerce stores, as well as those offering high-quality, pricey luxury products. How to ship your goods to Singapore?

Once again, Landmark Global can help you! We understand the prospects of entering the Singapore market for UK e-retailers, so we have our own base in this country and a strategic partnership with local logistics operators. This means that we can streamline your shipping for you.

Singapore Challenges

Despite how popular luxury goods are, Singaporean consumers opt for savings. This means that you might need to introduce loyalty programs in order to win their hearts.

Additionally, consumers in Singapore strive for free delivery, though the percentage of those who pointed this factor out is lower than in the previous emerging market – only 51.1%. What’s more, 30.8% of e-customers in this country want an easy return policy, which might get a bit tricky. But don’t worry – our returns management services for e-commerce will help you overcome this obstacle.

Finally, one of the biggest challenges is the type of the most popular products, along with the discrepancies between them. As long as you sell clothes or electronics, you have nothing to worry about. Yet, other types of products, like beauty ($263.8), won’t be as popular, so it might be much harder to achieve a steady sales flow selling them.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong is an excellent emerging market for UK, or any, e-commerce, as it’s highly digitalised – 95.9% of the population owns mobile phones. Add to that the general pursue for innovation, and you can see that it’s a market that should attract your attention, with 51.8% of consumers purchasing products/services online each week.

What is more, Hong Kong has extremely efficient customs clearance procedures, with favourable tariffs, which makes cross-border shipping much easier for you. After all, you can enter an emerging market without the traditional struggle of dealing with tons of paperwork and learning complicated legislation.

Finally, Hong Kong is a great market because we have our base there as well. This means that we can help you with all the logistics required to deliver your goods directly from your warehouses in the UK to your clients’ homes in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong Challenges

Since Hong Kong offers such favourable conditions, it’s naturally a market entered by many businesses. Hence, the biggest challenge in selling your products there is: fierce competition.

This means that you need to perfect every aspect of your business – from creating an intuitive, easy-to-navigate website to the whole delivery process. You have to come up with a UVP not only for your products but also for your service as a whole.

This is exactly why you should work with Landmark Global. With us, you know that your parcels will arrive on time, every time, and you can coin this feature into your own competitive advantage, that will distinguish your shop from other e-commerce businesses.

What is emerging markets 1

The Takeaway

What are the most promising emerging e-commerce markets? In our opinion, Vietnam, Singapore and Hong Kong. Each of them offers a unique opportunity, from a large number of customers, through high demand for luxury goods, up to easy shipping and customs. Yet, they also have their challenges – ones that you can overcome by working with Landmark Global!

And if you’re interested in other markets, read our US Shipping Guide!


Open your world

Landmark Global is the trusted international logistics partner that powers your e-commerce growth. Reaching up to 220 destinations, our services include international parcel delivery, customs clearance solutions and returns management. It’s our business to deliver your promise, wherever, whenever

Get Ahead of the Curve with Our Newsletter

Stay informed about the latest logistics and ecommerce news, trends, and insights with our newsletter.