A major trend in ecommerce this year is international retailers investing across Asia-Pacific to gain access to markets. Case in point: Walmart’s May 2018 purchase of Flipkart, India’s major homegrown digital retailer. India, with its population of 1.3 billion people, represents the biggest opportunity in Asia-Pacific for retailers. This year, ecommerce will account for just 2.9% of overall retail sales, which translates to $32.70 billion. Fertile ground for growth fueled the bidding war between Amazon and Walmart for Flipkart.
Prior to the Flipkart bidding war, Amazon had already invested in or acquired at least six ecommerce platforms in India. Those investments led to Amazon capturing 30% of India’s ecommerce market, per a May 2018 Citi Research report. Acquiring Flipkart, which holds 30% of the market according to Citi Research, would have clinched dominance in India for Amazon. Walmart’s strong desire to enter India, however, led it to outbid Amazon, paying roughly $16 billion to secure Flipkart.