But despite the size of the boom, many countries and regions remain far behind in terms of internet shopping as the 25 current e-commerce reports from Hamburg market research firm yStats.com make clear.
In spite of the financial crisis, B2C e-commerce sales in Asia have increased greatly. In India, internet trade increased by around 30 percent over the last year. There was also significant growth in Japan, with a rise of 22 percent (comparison timeframe: September 2008 - September 2009). For Thailand, experts estimate growth for 2009 to be no less than 76 percent. The upward trend of e-commerce continues in Eastern Europe as well. Within the Czech market, for example, an increase of 23 percent was recorded in 2009. In Western Europe internet trade achieved solid growth. In Germany, for example, it increased by around 15 percent. In contrast, the North American market was significantly more affected by the crisis, with the US seeing only single-figure growth in B2C e-commerce last year.
Summary of online trends
These and many other findings are contained in the current e-commerce reports from yStats.com. The Hamburg based secondary market research firm published a total of 25 English-language reports in April 2010, bringing together the most important and latest data and facts about the international B2C internet business. Ten regional reports provide information about the markets of North America, Latin America, Asia, Europe as a whole, Central Europe, Western Europe, Scandinavia, Eastern Europe and BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China), as well as a summary of the global market. In addition, yStats.com produced ten country studies, which show developments in the US, Germany, Great Britain, France, Spain, Poland, Japan, South Korea, China and Turkey. Five reports that examine in greater detail individual topics from a global perspective complete the series (“Global B2C E-Commerce Players 2010”, “Global B2C E-Commerce Assortments 2010”, “Global Internet and E-Commerce Trends 2010”, “Global Mobile and M-Commerce Trends 2010” and “Global Online Payment Methods 2010”).
As well as being up-to-date, an additional key advantage of the yStats.com studies is the objectivity of the data collected. The information published is taken from a wide range of sources so that the reports provide an accurate and detailed view of the global internet trade business. The studies cover all the important online trends of the countries and regions studied; for example, current e-commerce sales and the number of online shoppers and internet users. In addition, a large quantity of information pertaining to the most important e-commerce companies is included in the studies.
75 percent of German internet users shop online
The reports clearly show that B2C e-commerce is on the rise worldwide. In Germany, for example, the share of online retail rose from 5 percent in 2008 to 6 percent in 2009. In total, there were 33 million people in Germany who have bought goods online, which represents 75 percent of internet users. In the US, 79 percent of users (150 million people) are internet shoppers. According to current estimates, the number of online shoppers in Brazil rose from 13 million in 2008 to 17 million in 2009. Over the same period, online sales rose there by 28 percent. In New Zealand, the number of online shoppers rose by 10 percent to 1.5 million. In Saudi Arabia, 3.5 million people – around 14 percent of the population – have ordered goods on the internet.
53 percent of Europeans have internet access
In terms of internet penetration, North America continues to set the standard: 76 percent of the population of the US and Canada were online at the end of 2009. With 61 percent, Australia/Oceania came in second place in these rankings. In third place was Europe with 53 percent, followed by Latin America with 32%, the Middle East with 29% and Asia with 20%. Africa came in last with just 9 percent of its population having internet access.
Asia is in the lead in terms of the absolute number of internet users. Last year, 764 million people there used the World Wide Web, a figure which accounts for 42 percent of users worldwide. Europe had 426 million internet users (24 percent of the total number of users), taking second place ahead of North America with 260 million (14 percent), Latin America with 187 million (10 percent), Africa with 86 million (5 percent), the Middle East with 58 million (3 percent) and Australia/Oceania with 21 million users (1 percent).
Ukraine trailing behind in terms of internet penetration
In Europe, the Netherlands has the highest level of internet penetration – 90 percent of Dutch households had an internet connection in 2009. Germany is in the top third of these rankings with over 80 percent. Internet access is especially widespread in Scandinavian countries too, with shares of over 75 percent – all above the European average of 67 percent. In comparison to Western Europe, the Eastern European countries have significant catching up to do. In Russia, for example, just 46 million people had an internet connection in 2009 – this represents 33 percent of the population. Internet penetration is particularly low in Ukraine, where just 21 percent of the population are online. In Asia, there are major disparities in internet access. While in India a mere 4 percent of the population (50 million users) have an internet connection, in China 29 percent (384 million) do and in South Korea 74 percent (36 million).
Shopping clubs ever more popular
The global studies from yStats.com highlight further interesting developments. The “Global B2C E-Commerce Players 2010” report, for example, gives facts and information about online competitors in 45 countries, including the companies with the highest E-Commerce turnover in the world, Amazon and OTTO Group. The data indicate varied national characteristics. In Denmark, for example, the B2C e-commerce market is highly fragmented – a large number of small companies with low market share compete for potential customers. In Italy the online shopping market in dominated by electronics firms such as Mediaworld and E-Price, while in Turkey companies such as Hepsiburada, Biletix and Gittigidiyor are dominant. Also worthy of mention is the growing success of shopping clubs such as Brands4Friends, BuyVIP, Vente Privée and Limango, which are increasingly popular.
The yStats.com “Global B2C E-Commerce Assortments 2010” report brings together information about the most important online products from 43 countries, as well as transnational findings. The leading sectors in many countries are “travel”, “books” and “entertainment electronics”, while the “clothing” sector is becoming ever more important worldwide. The study on “Global Mobile and M-Commerce Trends 2010” shows that in the US in 2009 around 70 million people used the mobile internet. This represents 29 percent of all US mobile phone users. The turnover of the mobile shopping market in the US is now 750 million US dollars.
Founded in 2005 yStats.com is committed to research of objective, demand-based and up-to-date data on markets and competitors for top managers from various industries including retail, home shopping, e-commerce, telecommunications, logistics and energy. Headquartered in Hamburg, Germany, the firm is a specialist for secondary research with a strong international focus. Major clients include Otto Group, Tchibo direct, Wirecard, Red Bull, Beiersdorf, Deutsche Post and Hermes Logistik Gruppe. Yücel Yelken is the founder and CEO of yStats.