An estimated 875 million consumers have shopped online, according to the new Nielsen survey of online shopping trends. That’s 15% of the total global population of six billion. If you leave out the very young and the very poor, then a very significant part of the world market has clicked to buy. Is this the tipping point for online retailing?
It could be. And what is truly interesting is the fact that consumers from emerging markets have also embraced the online world with enthusiasm. In Korea, 99% of its online population has shopped on a website. Nielsen says “some of the biggest buyers of books on the Internet are from developing countries—China, Brazil, Vietnam and Egypt...” Shoppers from the UAE and India were among the top users of credit cards online—a surprise, given fears about payment systems here.
Online sales are still a small part of total consumer spending in India, but that could rapidly change.