Digital shopping trends highlights mobile-connected middle class

ecommerce sites


A recent report titled CPG in Developing Markets: Consumers’ Digital Habits in Emerging Economies by eMarketer attempts to paint a better picture of projected growth in emerging regions in terms of consumers’ digital shopping trends. This report could give us a general indication of what these regions’ eCommerce market potential looks like.

eMarketer points out that in many of these markets a young, mobile-connected middle class has emerged that is beginning to recognise and prefer name brands and shopping online. It further argues that while these markets differ greatly from European and North American markets in terms of demographics, geography, infrastructure and politics, mobile is probably the only “universal marker”. It even refers to mobile as being the key that unites emerging markets.

In an effort to emphasise the unique environment these markets pose, Kenya’s successful mobile-banking solution is used as an example. As of June 2013, more than 15 million customers in Kenya are using M-Pesa, conducting 80 transactions per second for a range of purchases from small CPG items to much larger purchases. This is simply one example of how companies could adjust to unique environments.

Out of a survey, the countries that stood out most include Kenya, Nigeria, Turkey and Vietnam. Head of investment banking for sub-Saharan Africa at Goldman Sachs, Colin Coleman said Nigeria’s massive growth could make the country “one of the mainstream economic actors on the continent.”

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In the regions where consumer goods executives project growth in sales, China got the greatest feedback with 59% of respondents. This was followed by the US, Asia-Pacific and Canada. Africa got the lowest response of 37%.

emarket countries

The article notes how the head of emerging market operations at Morgan Stanley Investment Management, Ruchir Sharmat, says that Kenya, Nigeria and Vietnam are so-called “frontier markets” which are generally considered to have lower market capitalisation and liquidity.

Furthermore Turkey is referred to as being one of the “breakout economic stars” and should be paid attention to. Asia is also considered as being extremely important and has a market that could potentially match that of Europe.

Images via eMarketer

Jacques Coetzee: Staff Reporter


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