Digital buying activity in Asia-Pacific is high in the region’s three most developed markets—Japan, Australia and South Korea—and much lower everywhere else, according to eMarketer’s latest estimates of worldwide business-to-consumer ecommerce activity. Even when measured as a percentage of internet users, rather than of the total population, the split between these three countries and the nation with the next-highest digital buyer penetration, China, is massive. -
Nearly eight in 10 internet users in Japan and Australia will make at least one digital purchase in 2014, eMarketer estimates, along with 73.0% of those in South Korea. In China, the figure will pass 50% for the first time this year, reaching 55.2%. In the less developed digital markets of India and Indonesia, only relatively small minorities of internet users will buy anything at all online, via mobile or via tablet throughout our forecast period.
These figures make Japan and Australia among the top five countries worldwide by this metric—and several ranks ahead of the US, which just outpaces South Korea. India and Indonesia, by contrast, have the lowest digital buyer penetration figures of any countries eMarketer creates forecasts for. Even in third-from-last Mexico, more than three in 10 internet users will make a digital purchase this year.
But once again, China’s vast size overshadows all else in the region. Even with middling digital buyer penetration, China accounts for more than 60% of the region’s digital buyers, or 319.9 million this year. And Australia’s relatively tiny population puts it just ahead of Indonesia, which will end up surpassing it by the end of our forecast period.