Retailers slow in offering e-commerce in APAC

E-commerce in Asia Pacific is growing at a fast pace, expected to overtake North America as the region with the world’s highest B2C e-commerce revenues by the end of 2013.

Despite this positive backdrop, brands and retailers face a high level of complexity and many barriers to success when establishing B2C e-commerce offerings in the region.

“In e-commerce, speed to market is everything,” said Asia Pacific Digital chairman Roger Sharp.

Sharp said that while selling B2C presents an enormous opportunity for brands and retailers, the diversity of the region, combined with a highly fragmented service provider ecosystem, makes it very difficult to get an e-commerce offering to market quickly.

“Retailers and brands are finding that when they eventually get to market, someone has already beaten them to the draw. Your competition is no longer local. It’s global, and it’s no longer your traditional competitor,” he said.

A daunting challenge facing retailers and brands from operating in the Asia Pacific region is how to segment and enter the regional markets.

Given that Asia Pacific is not a single region but 13 or 14 vastly different marketplaces, Asia Pacific Digital suggests that brands need to develop a detailed understanding and look at developing a unified online presence catering to different infrastructure hurdles, digital adoption barriers, stages of economic development, opaque points of market entry, language and cultural barriers, and so on, in each market.


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