Thailand, China Lead APAC for Digital Retail Holiday Sales Growth - eMarketer

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Thailand, China Lead APAC for Digital Retail Holiday Sales Growth

Both countries posted increases just under 30%

February 2, 2015

Digital retail sales posted significant growth in several Asia-Pacific markets last November and December, according to research from Adobe Digital Index. The biggest change was noted in Thailand, where digital retail sales grew 29% during the last two months of the year—but China was close behind.

Digital Retail Holiday* Sales Growth in Asia-Pacific, by Country, 2014 (% change vs. prior year)

China’s figures are boosted in large part due to Singles’ Day, the biggest online shopping day in the country—and, now, around the world, beating out Cyber Monday sales in the US and elsewhere. Digital retail sales in China are also promoted on December 12—a smaller counterpart to Singles’ Day.

In Hong Kong, Alibaba offers its Singles’ Day promotion, too, likely giving that market a boost. The uptick could be explained by ecommerce making pushes in Hong Kong—Alibaba’s Tmall and Taobao expanded their services to the region around the middle of 2013, providing residents with more options to shop online—and the progression of people getting more comfortable with ecommerce.

Pre- and post-Christmas sales are huge in Singapore, and a large number of companies give employee bonuses at the end of the year. That extra cash spurs people to shop more.

Sales in Japan get a boost from young people celebrating Christmas with gifts, and that market focuses on a Western-calendar-based New Year, rather than the Lunar New Year celebrated in China and elsewhere.

These growth rates in some cases simply reflect larger trends in Asia-Pacific’s retail ecommerce markets. eMarketer estimates retail ecommerce sales in China grew 35.0% year-over-year in 2014, compared with 17.3% growth in Australia and 14.0% in Japan.

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