Voice of the Industry

Power dynamics in ecommerce: the rise of Asia and Latin America as new digital commerce hubs

Monday 18 December 2023 09:16 CET | Editor: Irina Ionescu | Voice of the industry

Guillaume Tournand, VP of Growth for Digital Commerce at Worldline, discusses the new power dynamic of ecommerce, and the significant innovations in the field that led Asia and LATAM to become highly recognised digital commerce hubs.

In the dynamic landscape of ecommerce, a significant transformation is underway, influenced heavily by the burgeoning role of cross-border payments. While the US and Europe have historically been the dominant force in ecommerce, significant innovations and changing consumer behaviour have occurred in Asia and Latin America. 

These regions are emerging as pivotal powerhouses in the realm of ecommerce, registering growth rates that outshine those of their more established counterparts. This shift, fuelled in part by the increasing ease and efficiency of cross-border transactions, is opening new frontiers of opportunities and challenges, poised to revolutionise the future of digital commerce. We will further delve into this transition, exploring its potential to reshape the global ecommerce and cross-border payment narrative.


Emerging ecommerce hubs

Asia and LATAM are becoming increasingly influential in the global ecommerce sector, demonstrating notable growth and technological advancements. Several countries, including South Korea, India, Brazil, China, and Turkey, are key players in this digital transformation, exhibiting an approximate ecommerce growth rate of 30%. This rapid growth is largely attributed to the expanding acceptance and usage of ecommerce and mobile commerce in these regions.

The inclination towards mobile-first shopping experiences among consumers in these markets has contributed considerably to the surge in ecommerce growth. Factors such as high mobile usage rates, enhanced Internet access, and efficient digital payment systems facilitated smoother cross-border transactions, encouraging consumers to engage in international ecommerce.

Meanwhile, established markets such as the US and Europe are continuing to see steady growth in ecommerce, maintaining an annual increase of about 7-12%. Despite their mature infrastructure, the growth rates in these regions are different compared to the rapid expansion observed in the Asian and LATAM markets. This difference underscores the diverse nature of the global ecommerce landscape, where each region contributes uniquely to the overall growth and trends in the industry. It reflects the varied stages of ecommerce development across the world, emphasising the significance of both established and emerging markets in the global e-commerce ecosystem.

Unveiling market potential

These emerging markets are not just expanding rapidly but also offer substantial potential for future growth. The Bank of England anticipates that the cross-border payments market could reach an astounding USD 250 trillion by 2027. This prediction underscores the enormous potential of these high-growth markets.

As an example, Latin America has an ecommerce market currently valued at USD 295 billion and is advancing at a robust rate of 30%. This rapid growth is a testament to the region's increasing digital connectivity and the rising purchasing power of its consumers.

Similarly, in Asia, fintech investments are surging, particularly in India. The country's fintech sector alone is projected to reach USD 2.1 trillion by 2030. This surge is largely driven by advancements in international payment methods, which are making cross-border transactions more accessible and efficient.

These trends underscore the potential of these regions as lucrative markets for cross-border ecommerce. As technology continues to evolve and consumer behaviour shifts towards online shopping, these markets are set to play a pivotal role in the global ecommerce landscape. Therefore, businesses should prioritise understanding these markets and tailoring their strategies to seize the opportunities they present.

Strategies for high growth markets

Expanding into high-growth markets such as Asia and Latin America requires a keen understanding of the local landscape and a strategy tailored to meet unique regional demands. Businesses need to align with local consumer behaviours. For instance, in Asia, there is a marked preference for mobile-first shopping, which means that businesses should focus on developing mobile-optimised online shopping platforms integrated with cross-border payment solutions. In Latin America, the focus should be on integrating secure digital payment solutions, catering to a growing middle class increasingly comfortable with online transactions.

Understanding and adapting to local payment preferences is crucial in these diverse markets. China, for instance, has a strong inclination towards digital payment systems, whereas India exhibits a shift towards online payment methods mandated by the Indian government. In Latin America, there is a growing demand for alternative payment methods and paying in instalments. This variety underscores the importance for businesses to provide flexible and adaptable payment solutions to meet the varied consumer needs.

Worldline, a leader in payments and transactional services, offers comprehensive support to businesses venturing into these regions. The company addresses key international expansion challenges by navigating local payment markets with a wide range of payment methods, adhering to stringent regulatory and data privacy standards, managing costs and foreign exchange risks, and enhancing approval rates for foreign payments. This approach is grounded in a deep understanding of the complexities of non-native business environments. The expertise in cross-border transactions is invaluable in helping businesses overcome operational challenges and leverage growth opportunities in international ecommerce.


The future of cross-border ecommerce

Cross-border ecommerce's future is being shaped by various factors, including technological advancements, changing penetration rates, and the evolution of international payment methods. The rise in technology has facilitated seamless shopping across borders, with 57% of ecommerce shoppers making international purchases in the last year. This shift, largely propelled by the pandemic, has led to a 43% increase in consumers' willingness to engage in cross-border transactions.

Markets like South Korea, projected to have an ecommerce market worth USD 242 billion by 2025, are set to benefit from this trend, particularly through mobile shopping and advanced payment technologies. Meanwhile, countries like Indonesia present enormous growth potential through tailored solutions and improved payment platforms, despite lower penetration rates.

The increased adoption of online retail brings both opportunities and competition within the cross-border ecommerce space. With only 20% of retail spending happening online in 2022, according to eMarketer, the scope for expansion in the sector is significant.

A more dynamic future

As digital commerce continues to evolve, the focus will increasingly shift towards harnessing the untapped potential of high growth markets. The growth trajectory in Asia and Latin America is not just a trend, but a testament to the global economic change. For businesses looking to expand their horizons, these regions offer a gateway to new consumer bases, innovative practices, and ultimately, a chance to be part of the dynamic future of ecommerce.


About Guillaume Tournand

Guillaume Tournand is VP of Growth for Worldline Digital Commerce. In this role, Guillaume is dedicated to expanding the value proposition via geographical expansion, APM, partnerships, and M&A.



About Worldline

Worldline is a global leader in the payments industry and the technology partner of choice for merchants, banks, and acquirers. Powered by 18,000 employees in more than 40 countries, Worldline provides its clients with sustainable, trusted, and innovative solutions fostering their growth. Services offered by Worldline include instore and online commercial acquiring, highly secure payment transaction processing and numerous digital services. In 2022 Worldline generated a revenue close to EUR 4.4 billion. 

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Keywords: ecommerce, cross-border ecommerce, ecommerce platform, digital payments, instalment payments, mobile payments, fintech, omnichannel payments solution, local payment method, digitalisation, online payments, payments , cross-border payments
Categories: Payments & Commerce
Companies: Worldline
Countries: Asia, Latin America
This article is part of category

Payments & Commerce


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