Forrester forecasts online retail to touch $2.5 trillion in Asia-Pacific

September 24, 2020 | By RetailME Bureau

Research firm Forrester forecasts online retail to touch $2.5 trillion in Asia-Pacific in 2024. Online retail sales in Asia-Pacific will grow from $1.5 trillion in 2019 to $2.5 trillion in 2024, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.3%.

According to Forrester, online retail sales in Asia-Pacific is expected to get a boost from new buyers due to COVID-19. At the same time, consumer spending will take a hit due to the slowdown of economies, Forrester cautions. Retail sales will see a decline of 4.7% in Asia this year, with consumers spending less on non-essentials and a GDP decline worse than the 2009 financial crisis.

The forecast includes data for 11 Asia-Pacific countries – Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam. China is the largest market, expected to reach $2 trillion by 2024 and account for 50% of global online retail sales in 2020.

As Forrester forecasts online retail to touch $2.5 trillion in Asia-Pacific, over three-fourth 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 the Asia-Pacific countries. In 2020, 75.8% of online retail sales will occur on smartphones, and Forrester expects online retail sales by smartphone to grow at a CAGR of 13.6% to reach $2 trillion by 2024.

Grocery is the fastest-growing category. Due to COVID-19, the 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.

There will be a rise of new channels within 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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