China may have the largest online population in the world, but a much smaller country south of the equator could also offer an interesting opportunity to expand online.
“While the absolute number of consumers is higher in China, from a behavioral perspective, online shopping is much more wide-spread among online users in Chile,” says Hana Ben-Shabat, a partner at A.T. Kearney, a consulting firm that advises retailers on overseas expansion.
As the developed world teeters on the brink of recession , global retailers are expanding online as a cheaper way to tap growth in emerging markets. In lieu of brick and mortar stores, companies like Wal-Mart Stores , Gap and even high-end retailers like Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy and Neiman Marcus are building brand awareness in emerging markets.
The value of China’s online market totals $23 billion, second in the world behind the U.S., earning it the No.1 spot on A.T. Kearney’s Ecommerce Index of top 10 emerging markets. Chile’s online market, by contrast, stands at $749 million.
“There's a big discrepancy in terms of the size of the online retail market, but when we look at online penetration and percentage of people who are actually active online, the percentage of people who shop online is highest in Chile,” says Parvaneh Nilforoushan, the study co-author.Page 1 of 3 | Next Page