E-commerce brands need to be focusing on Asia for growth, according to eMarketer figures which predict that the region will generate more online sales than any other by 2013. North America has consistently been the leader in B2C e-commerce sales, followed by Western Europe however both these regions will be surpassed by Asia-Pacific, where increased internet access combined with a growing middle class is boosting online purchasing.
Japan has always led online spending in the region, with 50% of all Asian e-commerce spend in 2010 coming from Japanese consumers. It will come as no surprise, however, that China is expected to take that first spot by 2013 – with a predicted share of 40% compared to Japan’s 31%.
Maximise the opportunity
These figures serve to confirm the potential opportunities in the Far East for internet retailers, and highlight that relying on the traditionally strong markets in North America and Europe may not be enough to drive real growth.
Yet with opportunity comes challenge and retailers need to have done thorough research and preparation in order to reap any reward from expanding. Everything from logistics to payment options to business licences must be considered and failing to have the correct setup could prove fatal – especially in China where the regulations around trading and transferring money are incredibly strict and complex.
These rules, regulations and obstacles have failed to deter many a business from taking its product offering to Asia, one such company being Amazon subsidiary Shopbop, which has recently launched a Chinese version of its site and is actively targeting customers across multiple Asian markets.
Tim Gill, Search Manager for Shopbop, will be speaking at the International Search Summit New York on October 1st, sharing the brand’s experience of running multilingual PPC campaigns and dealing with local search engines including Baidu in China and Naver in South Korea. Early Bird rates for the Summit, which runs as part of SMX East, expire on 31 August.
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