Facebook and its role in e-commerce is a global phenomenon.
eMarketer reports $1.9 trillion in e-commerce revenue in 2016, a 24 percent spike from the prior year. Double-digit growth is forecasted through 2020 with global e-commerce sales topping $4 trillion and accounting for nearly 19 percent of all retail sales.
China is the primary driver of incremental ecommerce revenue for 2016, accounting for 47 percent of all retail e-commerce sales worldwide, while the Asia-Pacific region remains the world’s largest retail e-commerce market with $1 trillion in sales last year.
When it comes to investing your digital dollars, these are the emerging markets you should be looking at:
The Top 5
- Sweden: Digital revenue grew by 18 percent in 2016, with two-thirds of Swedes confirming that they buy online on a regular basis. Accelerated growth of online shopping comes as no surprise from a country with 8.7 million internet users, 94 percent of the total population. Sweden has also seen a drastic uptick in mobile users. Advertisers are satisfying mobile shopping demand by enhancing the consumer experience with improved websites and streamlined payment methods. The Swedish consumer has also become savvier, with a recent survey citing discount codes as a key element for retailer growth.
- Slovakia: Digital marketing spend is on the rise in Slovakia, reaching $55 million, second only to television. Total e-commerce revenue across all product categories is projected to hit $1 billion by 2021 as the number of online shoppers steadily increases to a forecasted 3.6 million in parallel. Desktop remains the preferred method of checkout, where 90 percent of all transactions are completed, versus just 4 percent via mobile. This is likely due to low usage, with just one-half of the country using mobile devices.
- Estonia: Uniquely, the largest population of online shoppers in Estonia is male, ranging in ages between 25 and 34. Total e-commerce revenue is expected to nearly double by 2021, currently generating $242 million, with fashion as the leading vertical. Like Slovakia, 92 percent of consumers complete their e-commerce purchases on desktop versus mobile.
- Indonesia: Recent altered government regulations have allowed for more foreign investment in e-commerce companies within the country, and e-commerce sales are projected to reach $130 billion by 2020. Much of that growth will come from the country’s growing mobile-first generation, which now sees 70 percent of traffic coming from mobile devices and tablets. According to a survey by Female Daily Network, 65 percent of purchasing decisions are controlled by women, and most (80 percent) of those women prefer to buy cosmetics over food and clothing.
- South Korea: Influencer marketing is thriving in South Korea, with 15 percent of shoppers making a purchase after seeing the product on a social network, according to eMarketer. With the second-highest percentage of retail e-commerce sales worldwide, the country has 99 percent web penetration and sees $37 billion in e-commerce sales annually.
Reaching these top five markets
Global audiences are thriving, and reaching them through performance marketing efforts has never been easier. Gone are the days where brands are limited to exploring country-specific affiliates. In its place is a diverse network portfolio that can track cross-border transactions in real-time and in their native currency.
Aspects such as shipping, exchange rates, taxes, content compliance, domain monitoring and search strategies are all issues that have to be managed when launching a global performance marketing program. Rapid global growth of performance marketing does present challenges, but with a nuanced approach to international strategy, you, too, can benefit from global e-commerce growth.
Greg Shepard is chief technology officer at performance marketing firm Pepperjam.
Image courtesy of shapecharge/iStock.