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Internet Retailing in Asia Pacific

June 2019

Internet retailing is riding on an upward trend in APAC due to the technologically-savvy millennial population and growing consumerism of the middle class. The convenience provided by online platforms, product variety, and discounts offered act as compelling reasons for consumers to embrace the channel. As players in developed markets look to expand their online presence in rural areas, players in developing markets will focus on the basics- converting consumers to online buyers.

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Key findings

Food and drink internet retailing sales in Asia Pacific grow significantly in 2018 and are expected to continue doing so in the future

The parallel development of three factors including consumers’ increasing consciousness of eating healthy, fresh food, the growing familiarity and trust in e-commerce, as well as the convenience provided by online platforms have together contributed to the stellar food and drink internet retailing growth across Asia Pacific and prominently in China and South Korea. In the future, more innovations to ensure seamless logistical delivery to consumers in terms of product freshness are set to be spearheaded.

E-commerce players look to penetrate lower-tier cities

After an eventual saturation in cities, big players such as Alibaba and JD.com in major markets such as China are expected to penetrate into second- and third- tier cities to expand their coverage and encourage more rural consumers to make online purchases. This is based on the premise that internet penetration in these cities is first successful and leveraged by consumers.

No more tradeoff between store-based and online retailing

Going forward, there may not be an option for retailers to either play in physical retail or online retail. The tradeoff may cease to exist because of the indispensable nature of both formats. In developed markets such as China, Japan and South Korea, players would look to enhance the offline-to-online experience while for up-and-coming markets such as India and Indonesia, retailers will extend their business online.

M-commerce will spur the next wave of e-commerce sales

While the e-commerce revolution is still taking place, some markets will likely see m-commerce boosting online sales because the largely millennial population of Asia Pacific who are working will spend increasing time on mobile phones on the go. For example even a developing market such as Indonesia known for being a mobile-first nation is now shifting to a mobile-only nation because of millennials.



Key findings

Regional Overview

Asia Pacific internet retailing in context
Asian middle class drives e-commerce sales
Online purchase of mobile accessories grows in major markets
Consumer electronics on the internet are sought-after for their discounts
E- tailers leverage health trend and see growing online grocery sales
Indonesia and Vietnam show lucrative growth in online food and drink sales
China and South Korea dominate across online product categories
Growing consumer familiarity boosts online accessories and grocery sales

Leading Companies and Brands

Strong market consolidation attributed to dominant players’ foothold
Alibaba and JD.com ride on success in China
Online players except Apple concentrate on key Asia Pacific markets
Third party merchants lift up e-commerce players’ rankings

Forecast Projections

Top markets forecast to contribute highest e-commerce sales
India to see high online sales growth after Walmart-Flipkart deal
Forecast projections
M-commerce to fuel online sales but overall industry will show declining rate

Country Snapshots

China: market context
China: competitive and retail landscape
Hong Kong, China: market context
Hong Kong, China: competitive and retail landscape
India: market context
India: competitive and retail landscape
Indonesia: market context
Indonesia: competitive and retail landscape
Japan: market context
Japan: competitive and retail landscape
Malaysia: market context
Malaysia: competitive and retail landscape
Philippines: market context
Philippines: competitive and retail landscape
Singapore: market context
Singapore: competitive and retail landscape
South Korea: market context
South Korea: competitive and retail landscape
Taiwan: market context
Taiwan: competitive and retail landscape
Thailand: market context
Thailand: competitive and retail landscape
Vietnam: market context
Vietnam: competitive and retail landscape

Appendix: Competitor Analytics

Competitor Analytics tool
Market Overlap
Overlap Matrices

Appendix: Industry Forecast Model

About Euromonitor International’s Industry Forecast Model
Soft drivers and the Industry Forecast Model
Growth decomposition explained
Significance and applications for growth decomposition
Key applications for Industry Forecast Models


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