Online retail to reach USD 2.5 trillion in Asia Pacific in next four years: Forrester

Online retail sales in Asia Pacific will grow from USD 1.5 trillion in 2019 to USD 2.5 trillion in 2024, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.3%, according to Forrester. Online retail sales in Asia Pacific are expected to get a boost from new buyers due to COVID-19, but at the same time, consumer spending will take a hit due to the slowdown of economies.

The forecast comprises of data for 11 Asia Pacific countries ? Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam ? with China remaining as the largest market, reaching USD 2 trillion by 2024 and accounting for 50% of global online retail sales in 2020.

Other key takeaways from the report include:

  • Retail sales will see a decline in 2020: With consumers spending less on nonessentials and a GDP decline worse than the 2009 financial crisis, retail sales in Asia will see a decline of 4.7% in 2020.
  • More than 3/4 of online retail sales occur on mobile devices in Asia: In contrast to Europe and the US, the smartphone is the preferred device for online buyers in Asia Pacific countries. In 2020, 75.8% of online retail sales will occur on smartphones, and we expect online retail sales by smartphone to grow at a CAGR of 13.6% to reach USD 2 trillion by 2024.
  • Grocery is fastest-growing category: Due to COVID-19, adoption of online grocery is getting a boost, with an expected CAGR growth of 30% during the forecast period and online penetration doubling from 5.1% in 2020 to 10.6% in 2024.
  • Rise of new channels of e-commerce: Social commerce is an emerging key challenger to traditional online retailers. COVID-19 will fast-track the adoption of social commerce channels outside China, where more existing and new entrants will experiment with content sharing commerce, membership-based team purchases, reselling, and live-streaming e-commerce.
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