One of the great things we can do with our Consumer Technographics data is compare user behavior and technology adoption in different international markets. Our recently published report The Global eCommerce Adoption Cycle uses data from four continents to provide a snapshot of eCommerce around the globe.

In the report, we look at how 18 different markets in North America, Europe, Asia and Latin America have evolved from an online shopping perspective. In our first analysis, we compare online penetration and the percent of online shoppers in each market. Our second analysis looks at online tenure as compared to average spending per online buyer.

In addition, we estimate the relative size of the online shopping markets to give a sense of which markets are most developed. We plot global markets in one of four quadrants: Connected buyers, Thrifty netizens, Rapid spenders and Emerging shoppers.

A few of the findings from the analysis:

Online connectivity does not necessarily correlate with online shopping.In certain markets – for example, Hong Kong – a very high percentage of the population is online but relatively few consumers are shopping online.  Don’t assume online buying will quickly follow online connectivity.

Some countries have relatively few online buyers, but those buyers are spending a substantial amount online.Additionally, in certain markets, the percentage of online shoppers may be relatively low but average online spending is high. In Canada, for example, only about half the online population has bought online in the past 3 months, but those who spend online spend a similar amount to their US counterparts.

Average online spending per buyer is highest in North America and Asia.While the typical UK online buyer spends a significant amount online, the same cannot be said for users in other countries in Europe.By contrast, in some markets in Asia, average online spending is higher than it is in the US.

eCommerce is evolving at a tempered pace around the globe.eCommerce boosters often suggest that today’s better technology and more developed supply side means that newer online markets will embrace eCommerce faster than those that emerged in the early days of the Internet. However, eCommerce is taking time to develop in every market. In Metropolitan China, for example, where users have been online roughly as long as those in France or the UK, the percentage of consumers making online purchases remains relatively low.  Indeed, in every country, eCommerce adoption is more likely to follow the traditional or hybrid curve outlined below than the aggressive one some might anticipate in today’s environment.