Your business is growing and you’re ready to step out into the international arena. It’s a huge, important step, so why not ready up on which foreign markets are most amenable to online transactions and eCommerce businesses? Allied Wallet, home of international eCommerce solutions like global payment gateways and ewallets, recommends that you start with one of these five booming markets:
While China’s growth has slowed down in recent years, it is still growing and it is still the biggest e-commerce market in the world. The best international payment gateway should have a safe and reliable way to accept and send funds to Chinese shoppers. There’s really not much to be said about moving into this growing market, except that China is expected to surpass $1 trillion in online retail revenue before 2020. Chinese consumers are also acclimated to the idea of online-only establishments, a valuable cultural trait for international businesses.
2. United Kingdom
What puts the United Kingdom on this list is its relatively high eCommerce share of total retail sales (estimated between 10% and 15% of total purchases). This is also reflected in the UK’s general lack of apprehension about alternative payment methods like PayPal and bank transfers. A solid brand with its own international eCommerce solutions can easily tap into the market share here. The only drawback might be financial repercussions from Brexit, so keep an eye on its effect on the British eCommerce market if you are considering it.
It should also be said that moving into an English-speaking country can cut out many middle men if you’re attempting to go global. This makes Australia and New Zealand similarly attractive choices to work with alongside your move into the UK. Both countries have the additional benefit of their proximity to Asian markets, regions that should be on a growing business’ long term plans. After all, a ZDNet article predicts that the Australian, Japanese, Chinese, Indian, and South Korean eCommerce markets will double by 2020.
While not the most booming eCommerce market in the world, Brazil does happen to be the most thriving market in all of South America. This makes it a unique and valuable opportunity starting point in a region that’s often under tapped. Clothing, beauty, and technology markets are currently the biggest shares of Brazil’s annual online sales of over $19 billion.
Some have predicted that purchasing is slowing and one eMarketer article predicts that online purchases will only be 5% of total purchases in 2018. That being said, now is a great time to move into the Brazilian market. Whether the 2016 Summer Olympics helped provide a boost, helped tank, or had no effect on Brazil’s economy, most experts are saying that the country’s economy has nowhere to go but up. Its stock market has shown signs of improving, surely a good sign for the country’s financial sector.
Indonesia’s eCommerce market has an incredibly high rate of mobile engagement, which has the additional bonus of making many citizens well-tapped into the social media sphere. More specifically, people in Indonesia are very united when it comes to using a single social media platform. Statistics show incredibly high use for both mobile and desktop versions of Facebook throughout the country.
International eCommerce solutions would be smart to target this market now, at the ground floor. A July 29th TechCrunch article posits that the current Indonesian current purchasing trends, online bank transfers and cash on delivery, are unsustainable and will soon buckle. Also that Indonesia’s unique rural and urban makeup provides a willing market for niche goods and developmentally-oriented products.
Many financial analysts are excited to see what happens in Thailand over the next few years, as the government is making stride towards becoming a cashless society. Social media is also huge here; a staggering 51% of consumers have ordered a product directly from a social media site. Another benefit for new marketers is that the Thai eCommerce industry doesn’t suffer from monopolization, giving them more leeway than a market like South Korea that’s incredibly consolidated.
Bonus: Where Not to Go First
The following markets aren’t necessarily bad countries to get involved with, but they might be tricky for new eCommerce businesses:
- Germany. Cash is by far the preferred means of spending in Germany. For a bevy of cultural reasons, Germans tend to distrust online payments (though eWallets, being most similar to cash, might gain traction).
- Greece. The economic situation in Greece has improved, but the country is not out of the woods yet. Greece does have fairly high online engagement and eCommerce spending; yet, there are spending limits on some online purchases and many Greek people are still feeling shell-shocked and wary of freely spending.
- India. Your mileage may vary with this one, as India has the fastest-growing eCommerce market, and a March 5th, 2016 Economist article ventures that India benefits from the work that the Chinese market has done (for instance, in making Alibaba more trustworthy). On the other hand, Amazon and other big players in the game are focusing heavily on cornering this market, making competition harder. Cash is the most popular method of payment here, partially due to culture and partially due to a lack of universal payment infrastructures.
- Russia. The “Great Bear” has a very high number of annual online sales (over $20 billion), but those sales are an incredibly low share of total retail sales (2% according to many sources, including an article in East-West Digital News). The only international sales that tend to be booming there are from border countries, most noticeably China. This, coupled with Russia’s recently weakening economy, makes it a hard market to penetrate. There is hope, however; Russia typically has the highest percent of internet users in Europe.
Best International Payment Gateway
When you’re ready to expand globally, contact Allied Wallet. Our Global Payment Gateway is setup to accept a wide range of payments and credit cards in more than 164 currencies and 195 countries. We’re fully certified and provide safe and secure encryption and data protection, helping your new international customers feel better about shopping with you. Plus, Allied Wallet offers 24 hour / 7 day a week support, which is crucial for new global businesses working in international time zones.