Internet Retailing

 

Highlights from this year’s ranking

The Top 500 retailers in the Asia-Pacific region registered sales totaling US$1,035 billion in 2013, down nearly 3% from the previous year. The biggest decline in sales was contributed by Japan, which still accounted for the sec- ond most number of entries in the rankings after China. This was due primarily to the yen weakening against the US dollar in 2013. China continued to garner the most number of entries in the Retail Asia-Pacific Top 500 rankings — and, in fact, has gained a bigger share of the rankings in 2013.

Internet retailing remains a channel with strong potential
There has been much attention on Internet retailing and its growth in the region and, indeed, globally. The channel presents both exciting opportunities and challenges for retailers. In 2013, the top 10 Internet retailers in Asia- Pacific had sales totalling US$110 million, up 23% from the previous year.

Of the top 10, the leading six players are pure- play Internet retailers and generally operate in mul- tiple markets in the region, with the exception of

JD (Jingdong Mall), which used to be 360buy.com prior to its name change in 2013. China’s Tmall continued to lead Internet retailing sales in the region in 2013.

With the exception of Rakuten, Yahoo! Shopping and Dell, all other Internet retailers in the top 10 witnessed increase in sales in 2013. Rakuten, Yahoo! Shopping and Dell all face intensive competition. Rakuten is turning to markets outside of Japan such as Singapore and Indonesia in a bid to maintain its position. It remains to be seen what Yahoo! Shopping and Dell will do to stem declining sales as their brand equity shrinks over time.

Retailers continue to see Internet retailing as a channel of opportunity as it presents a low cost market to tap into. High rental costs dogging markets such as Hong Kong and Singapore and the labour crunch in many markets in the region have further increased the appeal of the Internet. Retailers see the Internet as a platform to address these issues either in part or in full.

Consumers in Asia are also taking to Internet shopping in a big way. They have become more savvy and know that they can either get their hands on products not available in retail stores in their home country, or get better prices for the same products that they find in stores.

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