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China, U.S., U.K. top e-commerce opportunity study


New York -- China takes the top spot in online retail market opportunity, followed by Japan, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Korea, according to a new global e-commerce study by A.T. Kearney. (Kearney’s “2013 Global Retail E-Commerce Index” is comprised of 30 developed and developing markets.)

Developing countries were prominent in the Index, holding 10 of the 30 positions. According to the report, many developing markets have been able to shortcut the traditional online retail maturity curve as online retail grows at the same time as physical retail becomes more organized. E-Commerce is increasingly viewed by retailers as an efficient and effective global expansion vehicle.

“Consumers in developing markets are fast adopting behaviors similar to those in more developed countries,” said Mike Moriarty, A.T. Kearney partner and co-author of the study. “For example, mobile phones per capita in Russia (1.8) and the United Arab Emirates (1.7) are much higher than many developed markets, including the United States (1.0) and France (1.0). Consumers in these countries use their phones to research products, compare prices and seek input from their friends on social media.”

Among the study’s findings:

  • Global online retail has grown at 17%, with growth particularly strong in Latin America (27%) and Asia Pacific (25%). One major factor is Internet penetration; another is payment methods, which vary according to country.

  • Mobile phone ownership and use figures largely into the rating, where countries with one or more mobile devices per capita are clearer winners in the e-commerce arena.

  • Across the board, consumers and merchants have become more savvy – pre-purchase research and showrooming are commonplace throughout the world.

  • Logistical considerations are the biggest hurdle in e-commerce growth, particularly delivery and distribution/warehousing.

  • Electronics and apparel continue to be the biggest online sellers.

Here is the top 2013 Global E-Commerce Index ranking:

Index Rank Country
1 China
2 Japan
3 United States
4 United Kingdom
5 Korea, South
6 Germany
7 France
8 Brazil
9 Australia
10 Canada
11 Singapore
12 Argentina
13 Russia
14 Hong Kong
15 Italy
16 Sweden
17 Slovakia
18 New Zealand
19 Netherlands
20 Chile
21 Finland
22 Turkey
23 Venezuela
24 Belgium
25 United Arab Emirates
26 Norway
27 Ireland
28 Denmark
29 Switzerland
30 Malaysia

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