2017’s hottest international ecommerce markets

08th May 2017 @ 16:13 | Aurora Commerce

The world is getting smaller; and opportunity is closer than you think. Global internet traffic passed the one zettabyte mark in 2016 – that’s equivalent to one million billion bytes – and Cisco predicts that over four billion people worldwide will have web connectivity by 2020.

As the world’s digital marketplace rapidly evolves, ecommerce retailers are perfectly placed to connect with the growing online population. Although the effective devaluation of sterling offers an immediate opportunity for UK retailers to export to Europe and US, these more mature markets are reaching saturation point and currency fluctuations difficult to predict. However, the whole of the APAC is coming online and there’s never been a better time to expand into new territories.

But which prospects offer the most promise, and how can an ecommerce retailer ensure a successful launch? Everyone points to China for obvious reasons, but there several other major emerging markets for ambitious UK retailers to target. We take a look at some of 2017’s hottest international ecommerce markets...


The world’s fastest-growing economy is truly coming into its own, driven by the development of its online infrastructure and the spread of mobile technology.


India’s ecommerce growth is concentrated in urban centres, close to the customers with the biggest spending power. The country’s payments systems are predominantly cash based, but it will not be long before digital wallets gain traction.


There’s also a huge focus on mobile technology; messenger apps are fast becoming the communications tool of choice for India’s burgeoning Millennial population.


South Korea

The seventh largest ecommerce in the world, and the fastest growing after India, South Korea has an advanced telecoms infrastructure that reflects its population’s preference for all things online.


Consumers in the country seek discount-based rewards and insist upon fast delivery. They also want to pay with local payment methods, including regional card brands and electronic fund transfers.



Whilst not the most obvious expansion prospect, Pakistan’s retail sector is growing at an unprecedented rate, with online sales doubling every year.


Fuelled by increasing broadband penetration, the country’s growing middle class of affluent, brand-conscious consumers seek a slick and immersive customer experience.


They also need to feel secure. A lack of 3D payment security means retailers targeting Pakistan must prove that they can be trusted. This means featuring credit card logos on their payment pages, using an https browser address, and routing payments through secure local providers.


Reaching international shoppers

These are just three of the most promising global markets – there are many more emerging opportunities out there. And while ecommerce is the quickest, most cost-effective and lowest risk route into new territories, retailers need to ensure their website is optimised for the unique conditions of each region.


For example, their ecommerce platform should have the flexibility to deliver content and prices in the language and currency of the target market, and should take account of regional payment options, delivery preferences and site navigation habits


While some retailers will already have the online agility to customise their website for new markets, others will need to invest in a better platform to seize emerging opportunities, quickly. This could be done by developing a new website bespoke for that region, or a single site with multi-country functionality – either way it has to work at a local level, while still reflecting their international brand identity.


In order to choose the right approach, and find the right platform to match their global ambitions, many retailers find the best solution is to partner with a third party technology provider, who has expertise in enabling international ecommerce.


With the right partner to collaborate with, retailers can not only identify the biggest global opportunities for their business – they can launch in those territories quickly and effectively, with the necessary localisation to establish a strong brand presence.


Seize your potential for global expansion by downloading our quick guide to international ecommerce expansion.

Or visit our features page to see how the Aurora Commerce platform can launch your business in international markets.

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