Across the developed world, several markets have become established as dominant players in international e-commerce – the U.S., the U.K., Germany, Japan and France, just to name a few. But huge potential exists in other commercial centers that are recently emerging as major global markets. For some, that potential is only just beginning to be realized, while others have quickly thrived in e-commerce.
It’s important for e-businesses to monitor these markets’ rise and recognize how they fit into a company’s current global strategy. Here, we’ll take a look at two of the most important e-commerce markets to emerge recently, a few that are likely to become significant in the near future, and how e-commerce businesses can take advantage.
India slow to progress but still intriguing
If population and Internet access alone were indicators of a robust e-market, India would surely count among the ranks of the most promising emerging markets. However, despite the second-highest population on Earth and the third-most Internet users (over 243 million in 2014), India remains unranked on A.T. Kearney’s 2015 Global Retail E-Commerce Index. Only 39 million online buyers live in India – a fraction of the number of Indians with Internet access and an even smaller fraction of the population at large.
With that said, India’s e-tail market grew by 27 percent in 2014 to reach $3.8 billion USD, Amazon pledged $2 billion in infrastructure development in July 2014, and Indian e-commerce business Flipkart reached $1 billion in capital in 2014. Those numbers could indicate India’s time in the e-tail sphere is fast approaching.
Brazil shows promise
Latin and South American at large are worth noting, but Brazil is perhaps the most interesting emerging e-commerce prospect of the whole group. According to eMarketer’s estimates of retail sales both online and otherwise, Brazil’s e-tail sales will be in the top 10 worldwide by 2018. In the five years leading up to 2018, online sales will increase by 1.4 percent against total retail in Brazil, according to the study.
Even now, Brazil’s growth is intact despite uncertain political times. Online consultancy firm E-bit found the South American nation’s e-commerce reached a new high at 41.3 billion reais, or $10.3 billion USD, good for 15.3 percent growth on the year.
Latin America could be next in line
Along with Brazil, Mexico, Chile and Venezuela and Argentina all found their way onto A.T. Kearney’s 2015 index, suggesting Latin America and South America have potential as e-commerce markets. Mexico in particular has looked strong, rising to No. 17 on the list after being unranked in 2014 and leading other nations in the region. However, economic instability in Argentina the country to fall 17 spots. As with other emerging markets, infrastructure is a primary concern. Still, with the right investment and partnerships abroad, Latin America could take advantage of its proximity to the U.S. and Canada as a way to improve e-tail.
Organizations may have a lot to gain by expanding their e-commerce into one of these emerging markets – as long as they go about it correctly. In other words, e-tail companies need to fit in with these emerging markets’ existing business channels, not position themselves as outsiders. That means leveraging a software platform that can handle logistical issues, cover exchange rates, give customers familiar payment options and predetermine any hidden taxes or fees that could come from cross-border shipping. Additionally, carrier-neutral logistics platforms can help e-tailers ship their products to faraway consumers while bypassing delays inherent to one particular company or method.