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2021 Digital Consumer Index: Pinpointing the Most Promising Digital Opportunities

April 2021

During the pandemic, countries saw a restated demand for digital connectivity leading market players to accelerate their digital initiatives. Thus, the global digital landscape is expected to see shifts over the forecast period, where developed markets will further strengthen sophisticated digital solutions and emerging markets will enhance their connectivity and commerce infrastructure, leading to greater opportunities for investment.

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Key findings

Wider digital inclusion and digital literacy leads to exponential development in digital access

2021 will mark the first time that more than half of the population in emerging and developing countries will be connected, with nearly 52% of the population in these markets using the internet. With 79% of the global internet population living in emerging markets, wider digital inclusion and evolving digital literacy in these markets is driving demand and supply of digital services.

Internet connectivity is driving both remote and in-person commerce, thereby driving innovation

As digital connectivity is evolving around wireless solutions, both in terms of wireless connectivity and wireless devices, most solutions are becoming mobile-centric. This is resulting in the emergence of commerce solutions beyond remote experiences, towards in-person digital engagement. From contactless payments, AI and smart retail this opens a new array of digital engagements.

South Korea to remain a leader on the Digital Consumer Index

South Korea is expected to retain its lead on the Digital Consumer Index, given strong impetus to its digital commerce development from retail e-commerce sales. E-commerce players are investing in new technologies including digital wallets. Increased investment such as Coupang’s IPO will further strengthen South Korea against other markets globally.

The rise of China on the Digital Consumer Index will lead to shifts in global rankings

China is expected to increase by eight places on the Digital Consumer Index to rank among the top 10 markets globally over the forecast period. China will specifically improve on digital connectivity, particularly mobile connectivity, which will lead to enhanced digital access in second-tier cities.

COVID-19 has led to unprecedented shifts on the Digital Commerce Index

The COVID-19 pandemic not only put pressure on the quality of internet access across markets, accelerated digitally-driven commerce in industries such as retail and foodservice delivery, but it also spearheaded investment in digital infrastructure, leading to accelerated development across these sectors.

 

Introduction

About the report
Key findings

Introducing the Digital Consumer Index

COVID-19 has underscored the importance of internet access
Greater digital inclusion doubles global internet population
Gaps in smartphone possession and internet access via mobile
Connectivity driving both remote and in-person digital engagement
Digital maturity creates pressing need for market prioritisation
Introducing Euromonitor International’s Digital Consumer Index

Uncovering Where to Place Digital Bets

The internet is the world’s largest connector
Access to quality mobile internet essential for improved connectivity
Middle East and Africa and Latin America lag on connectivity
Poland makes the biggest strides on connectivity
Noticeable shifts in leading markets with the rise of China
Nigeria to show progress in connectivity, India to leap in ranks
Japan and Australia to lead developed markets in connectivity
UAE to lead across all connectivity indices

Identifying Key E-Commerce Opportunities

South Korea continues to lead the Digital Consumer Index
Western Europe dominates developed markets
Several emerging markets aim to follow the trail of leaders
Forecast rankings will continue to see developed market dominance
Emerging markets make noticeable strides in connected commerce
South Korea to lead Digital Consumer Index forecast rankings
Key leaders to watch on the forecast Digital Consumer Index
Key laggards of note on the forecast Digital Consumer Index

10 Markets to Watch

China to post the highest absolute growth in e-commerce
Penetration in second-tier cities to increase opportunities in India
Mexico set to be the fifth largest emerging digital consumer market
Saudi Arabia lays groundwork for robust digital commerce
Turkey eager to bank on investment to secure digital opportunities
Russia to make biggest stride on digitalisation in Eastern Europe
US to be second leading digital consumer market globally
Czech Republic will make biggest leap among developed markets
UK to continue leading European markets
Improvement in digital commerce experience for Norwegians

Key Takeaways

Key digital connectivity takeaways from the index

Key takeaways

Key digital commerce takeaways from the index

Appendix

Methodology for the Digital Consumer Index (1)
Methodology for the Digital Consumer Index (2)
Methodology for the Digital Consumer Index (3)
2021 Digital Consumer Index
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