Asia is the next frontier for e-commerce. The continent’s growth in online retail has soared by nearly 140 percent in the last three years. By 2020 analysts predict that Asia will account for 23 percent of the online sales market, according to the J. Safra Sarasin Group. That would be a tremendous jump from the 3.8 percent of worldwide online sales attributed to Asia just last year. Global e-commerce sales are expected to hit $1 trillion this year.
Much of the growth is expected to come from China, which by the end of the decade, is expected to edge past the United States as the world’s largest online retail market. For the last several years e-commerce in China has grown by more than 60 percent annually. Retailers world wide are positioning themselves to enter the lucrative Chinese market. The NFL announced last week that it would be opening up an online store for the Chinese market. The store, which will be opened with ExportNow, will sell apparel, equipment and accessories branded with the logos of the NFL and its 32 teams over an e-commerce platform on China’s Tmall.com and is expected to open in September.
What’s truly extraordinary is that the growth of Chinese e-commerce is taking place with Internet penetration of just 42 percent. Driving the Chinese is increasing Internet penetration combined with the rapid growth of the Chinese middle class.