After years of looking at how the online markets of Asia Pacific are emerging from an online shopping perspective, we are thrilled to announce our first online retail forecast for China, Japan, South Korea, India and Australia.* Some findings from the forecast:

  • Japan still takes the top spot in the region. Japan retains its dominance in the region with some $45 billion in online retail sales this year. Indeed, while China’s combined B2C and C2C spending surpasses B2C spending in Japan, Japan is still the leader in traditional online retail sales. And despite the fact that online consumers in Japan are purchasing across a wide variety of categories, some category purchases like beauty have shifted online in Japan in a way they have not in the US or Europe.
  • China’s growth rates will propel it ahead of Japan in the very near future. China’s combined  B2C and C2C sales — the two are nearly impossible to separate** — are poised to reach $49 billion in 2010. China’s CAGR will be double that of the US, Western Europe and Japan, and it’s clear that China will be the eCommerce market most likely to rival that of the US.
  • Australia’s robust growth will be driven by an increasingly vibrant online retail sector.  The online marketplace in Australia is marked today by a large number of cross-border transactions, but there is growing momentum among local players. Though less than half the size of the online retail markets in Japan and China, Australia’s growth rates are slightly higher than those of Japan and its US and Western European counterparts.
  • India will see the fastest growth, but off an extremely small base. Unlike Japan, China and other markets in Asia-Pacific where eCommerce has already taken off, in India online shopping is still at very early stages. Hindered by low broadband penetration, a limited supply side and multiple other factors, eCommerce remains at an entirely different level of development. Growth rates off of today’s small base, however, will be the highest of the countries analyzed.

Although none of the countries in Asia Pacific are poised to overtake today’s $173 billion US online retail market over the next five years, the revenue growth rates in Asia Pacific will mean the region will increase rapidly as a percentage of the global total.


* ForecastView clients have access to the full model, including market sizes for seven different categories in each country and average spending per online buyer. Other Forrester clients can see top-level market sizes in our report entitled, Asia Pacific Online Retail Forecast, 2010 To 2015: A Look At Growth In Five Markets With A Focus On China, Japan, And Australia.

**Market leader includes many individuals selling new goods online, and therefore incorporates both types of transactions in its numbers.