The Future of E-Commerce in Asia: A Promising Outlook

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Holiday season has been over just now and people are turning back to their normal daily routine gradually.  Industry has started analyzing their holiday season sales figures and the market trends and predictions are getting exposed. Heading towards 1 Trillion Dollars sales figure, E-Commerce has emerged as the most promising industry at global level. Though, U.S. and Europe remains the main contributor into global E-Commerce sales figure, current trends in indicates that ASIA Pacific holds the key of future business.

In Asia Pacific, visitation to retail sites has achieved a much higher market penetration than travel – which tends to be the gateway and primary category in online purchasing, as per a recent report from ClickZ asia. In most markets, more than half of Internet users frequented a retail destination in October last year, while in most cases less than half frequented a travel site. Japan leads the market being as most retail savvy where 80 percent of its online population visiting retail site in October, followed by Australia (76 percent) and South Korea (72 percent). Singapore achieved the highest percent penetration for travel with 52 percent reach, followed by New Zealand and Australia at 48 percent and 43 percent; these markets have retail penetration rates of 64 percent and up. It’s interesting to note that just because a market exhibits high propensity for utilizing retail sites, does not necessarily mean they are as willingly to frequent travel sites, with large differences in these two activities seen in several markets including Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, and Taiwan.

Online Brands Drive the Traffic

Competition remains intact be it offline or online. Global and local online brands find themselves against each other when it comes to E-Commerce for securing maximum traffic and dollars. Alibaba.com , a china based online retail venture, was the clear retail leader with nearly 120 million visitors from the Asia Pacific region; its flagship taobao.com retail site accounted for 108 million visitors in the region. Alibaba.com is also ranked as the second largest global online retailer after Amazon. U.S.-based Amazon and Apple followed as number two and number three, while local players such as Rakuten.co.jp, Paipai.com, and Zol.com.cn all secured places in the top 10 listing.

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Future Business Opportunities

The e-commerce channel holds incredible potential for brands and retailers across Asia Pacific and for some markets in particular. However, it’s important for the e-establishments to capatilize on few important aspects to build an effective digital commerce strategy:

Know your target audience and where to find them: Understanding who your key audiences are, including their demographic characteristics, what online sites and categories they visit, and what digital content they spend time consuming, will help you reach and engage your audience more effectively, especially for smaller or less-known brands.

Create a secure environment: In many markets, consumers still face a lack of confidence in conducting secure transactions online. Developing a secure environment and providing consumers with transparency in your purchasing policies can help build trust in the channel and make the differences if a consumer buys from you or your competitor.

Online presence can equal offline sales: It’s important to remember that not all people will buy online, but many will in fact research and browse online and make the actual purchase offline. So even if you don’t plan to sell your goods digitally, having a digital brand presence is increasingly important to savvy shoppers.

The payment gateway is key: Credit cards are not “King” in many markets in Asia Pacific for e-commerce, because not everyone has one (or two). Alibaba.com has Alipay to connect to banking debit accounts and is one of the main reasons for its success. Other markets are following a similar debit rather than credit route.

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E-commerce in Asia Pacific is growing as Industry is close to touch 1 Trillion dollars sales figure at global level. Importantly, its not only the local market which will provide dollars but the unrestricted boundaries of E-commerce allows to cross over the multiple geographic market. If business owners take the right initiative with defined strategy, enormous business potential of E-Commerce will not disappoint them in any ways.

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