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Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  15 Sep 2014

E-COMMERCE: Global B2C E-commerce Sales to Hit $1.5 E-commerce Sales This Year


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The e-commerce market continues to gather steam, with worldwide business-to-consumer (B2C) interaction expected to increase by 20.1% this year, reaching a grand tally of $1. 5 trillion.

This is according to Nicholas Reddy, general manager at web-based solutions company, ImproWeb, sister company of Esquire Technologies, one of the leading distributors in southern Africa of IT, mobility, digital and consumer lifestyle products.

Reddy said growth is coming mainly from the rapidly expanding online and mobile user bases in emerging markets, increases in m-commerce sales, advancing shipping and payment options, and the continued push into new international markets by major brands.

According to eMarketer’s latest forecasts, for the first time, consumers in Asia-Pacific will spend more on ecommerce purchases than those in North America, making it the largest regional ecommerce market in the world. This year alone, B2C ecommerce sales are expected to reach $525.2 billion in the region, compared with $482.6 billion in North America.

Research also pointed to the fact that China will take in more than six of every 10 dollars spent on ecommerce in Asia-Pacific this year and nearly three-quarters of regional spending by 2017. eMarketer also revealed that the country’s ecommerce market is second only to the US, but this lead is not expected to last much longer. Beginning in 2016, China will overtake the US in spending. Substantial gains in China, together with India and Indonesia, will push Asia-Pacific’s growth forward.

These countries, along with Argentina, Mexico, Brazil, Russia, Italy and Canada, will drive ecommerce sales growth worldwide. Ecommerce markets in other countries included in eMarketer’s forecast are said to be nearing maturity.

ImproWeb’s Reddy said the buoyancy of sales in emerging markets is mainly as result of large populations finally going online –and buying there for the first time.

“This is a growing trend, and we will certainly see good growth in B2C – and e-commerce in general - in South Africa over the next few years.”

Statistics reveal that Asia-Pacific will claim more than 46% of digital buyers worldwide in 2014, although these users will only account for 16.9% of the region’s population.

eMarketer also suggested that penetration will also be on the low side in Central and Eastern Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East and Africa.

Currently North America and Western Europe are the only regions where a majority of residents will make purchases via digital channels.

South Africa’s Growth

“While e-commerce is growing in South Africa,” said Reddy, “it is still in its early days compared to developed countries.

“But it is definitely growing. Our sister company, Esquire Technologies, for instance -one of the pioneers in the technology sector for e-commerce and online trading –recently reached a milestone, where a total of 30 000 orders had been placed via their web-site over last four years. But the growth in the last year -to reach this 30 000 tally - has shown a whopping 500% increase in online sales.”

But consumers are still concerned about security, especially relating to credit card fraud. Also, where site content is on the thin side –and it still happens – consumers feel unsure about purchasing and would rather visit the physical store to get advice, and see the products on the ground. They are also concerned about size and fit –if clothing is sold- and are not sure about how they would go about returning items.”

He said delivery charges can also still be on the punitive side, something that is also putting off shoppers.

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