For a long time, the “e-commerce market” has been synonymous with online retailers in the US and Western Europe. In terms of sheer quantity, online sales in Western Europe and the US still outstrip those of Asia – but not by much. With one out of every two humans on the globe living in Asia, the long-term outcome seems clear. Just as is occurring in so many other consumer industries, Asia will become the number one market.
However, talking of an Asian market is wrong. Just like in Europe, retailers are regionally fragmented and large differences exist:
- Industrialized countries Japan and South Korea are extremely mature markets, and dominated by strong local retailers such as Japan’s Rakuten.
- China is the real growth story, dominated by large eBay-like marketplaces such as Alibaba and a set of local retailers such as 360Buy, Joyo, and Dangdang fighting Amazon for share of the fast-growing B2C retail market.
- India and Australia are still surprisingly immature markets, given how developed they are in other aspects.
I believe Avail has a lot to contribute to online merchandising in this huge, emerging market – but also that we have a lot to learn. A brief comparison of the leading e-commerce sites in Asia with those of Europe and the US is enough to see how language, culture and consumer requirements influence online merchandising strategies.
And as always, you can only really learn by doing.
I’m proud to announce that we at Avail are now taking our first steps to enter this market:
- We have already signed up our first reference customers in Australia, India and New Zealand
- This summer, we signed an exclusive deal with a leading Asian e-commerce solution provider, who will become our local sales & service partner in South-East Asia.
- This autumn, we will open up a local delivery center in Singapore, making us able to offer low-latency, enterprise reliability delivery using AWS’ state-of-the-art infrastructure.
Looking forward to it!