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2016 Digital Consumer Index: Identifying the Next Digital Frontiers

October 2016

In order to assist companies with identifying which geographic markets are the most digitally attractive and offer the best prospects for future deployment of digital initiatives, Euromonitor International developed the Digital Consumer Index. This tool pinpoints a country’s relative digital standing in the present, as well as offering forecasts for where it is expected to be five years from now.

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The world is more connected than ever before; internet use doubles in seven years

The number of internet users has doubled over the last seven years to reach 3.2 billion globally in 2016. An estimated 43% of the population uses the internet as of 2016. This rapid uptake of digital services has underpinned generational shifts in how consumers live, work, shop and play.

Increased connectivity transforms the commerce experience

This connectivity has driven a fundamental shift across all corners of commerce. Today’s connected consumer browses and buys goods and services differently from the previous generation. Digital is how consumers of tomorrow expect brands will interact with them before, during and after a purchase.

Unprecedented digital shifts creates need for market prioritisation

It is no longer a question as to whether a digital strategy is needed. In order to assist companies with identifying which geographic markets are the most digitally attractive and offer the best prospects for future deployment of digital initiatives, Euromonitor International developed the Digital Consumer Index.

Degree and type of digital connectivity varies greatly between market types

In general, developed nations lead in internet access, with many establishing this connectivity years ago through a fixed broadband connection in the home. Digital connectivity in emerging markets has been far more often driven by mobile, due in large part to cheaper network investment and falling prices of mobile devices.

Digital commerce opportunities remain driven by more established developed market economies

The Digital Consumer Index examines the interplay of digital connectivity and digital commerce to identify promising markets for digital commerce opportunities. Of the top 20 markets on the Digital Consumer Index, all but two are developed markets. China and the UAE outperform other emerging markets on both components that feed into the overall Digital Consumer Index score.

Introduction

Scope of Digital Consumer
Key findings

Introducing the 2016 Digital Consumer Index

Consumers are more connected today than ever before
Digital connections underpin generational shifts across society
Increased connectivity is transforming the commerce experience
Digital connectivity expected to impact the travel industry most
Digital shift creates need for market prioritisation
Introducing Euromonitor International’s Digital Consumer Index

Uncovering Digital Connectivity Opportunities

Digital gap between developed and emerging expected to narrow
Degree and type of connection varies greatly across market types
US and Japan score higher on mobile connectivity than home
South Korea sits atop the current digital connectivity rankings
Connectivity expected to expand the most in emerging markets
Ukraine forecasted to make greatest leap in digital connectivity
US to take top position in forecasted digital connectivity rankings
India will maintain bottom position in the Digital Connectivity Index

Identifying Promising Digital Commerce Markets

UK leads the Digital Consumer Index thanks to digital-first mindset
China and UAE currently outpacing emerging market counterparts
Strong cash culture hinders digital commerce uptake in Mexico
UK, South Korea and US outpace developed market counterparts
Four expected leaders in the forecasted Digital Consumer Index
Four expected laggards in the forecasted Digital Consumer Index

Digital Consumer Index Market Spotlights

Argentina’s travel industry has been most impacted by digital’s rise
Chinese consumers purchasing more via mobile than computers
Tech-savvy Israelis opt to buy goods from foreign sites over local
Half of Polish report making digital purchase on a monthly basis
Big-ticket purchases will be the source of Saudi Arabia’s growth
South Korea’s urban population propels online grocery market
Swiss increasingly reliant on mobile to book travel services
UAE’s digital commerce growth rooted in travel-related purchases
Downloadable media to boost UK’s future commerce expansion
Apparel and footwear will continue to drive digital growth in the US

Key Insights from the Digital Consumer Index

Key digital connectivity takeaways from the index
Key digital commerce takeaways from the index

Appendix

Methodology for the Digital Consumer Index
Methodology for the Digital Consumer Index, continued
2016 Digital Consumer Index
2016 Digital Consumer Index, continued
2016 Digital Consumer Index, continued
2016 Digital Consumer Index, continued
Additional data parameters and report definitions
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