The e-commerce demography is fast-changing across the world with increasing sales and a higher percentage of the population choosing to shop online. As per an estimate, the Indian e-commerce market is expected to grow to US$ 200 billion by 2026 from US$ 38.5 billion as of now.
Much growth of the industry has been triggered by increased internet penetration.
Amidst this, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development’s (UNCTAD) Business-to-Consumer (B2C) E-commerce Index 2019, which measures an economy’s preparedness to support online shopping, has released its latest ranking for the most prepared region for e-commerce in the world.
Showing slight improvement in its ranking, India has recorded a jump of 7 positions to 73rd among 152 countries.
About 11% of Internet users and 3% of the overall population in India have shopped online this year, said the report.
According to the index, the Netherlands boasts the highest readiness to engage in and benefit from e-commerce for the second consecutive year, followed by Switzerland and Singapore.
With eight countries ranking in the top 10 of a global index, European economies have dominated the top-10 list, which also featured Singapore and Australia.
For the uninitiated, the index compares the countries on four major indicators that are highly related to online shopping which includes population age, individuals using the internet, postal reliability index, and secure internet servers.
Moving towards the list of developing economies in the index, Asian nations have dominated over others. All of the top ten developing economies (Singapore, China, Korea, Qatar, Thailand, and others) are from Asia, and all of them being upper-middle-income or high-income economies.
However, the range of index values in this list is wider, with a 23-point difference between the first (Singapore) and the tenth (Turkey).
At the other end of the spectrum, least developed countries (LDCs) have taken up 18 of the 20 bottom positions in the table. These countries are furthest most behind in terms of readiness to engage in and benefit from e-commerce. Congo and the Syrian Arab Republic are the only non-LDCs in this group.
Comoros, Burundi, Chad, and Niger are the bottom four in this list.
Importantly, this B2C index reflects the huge gap between developed and developing countries, which needs to be addressed to build an inclusive digital economy for all.
Of late, UNCTAD had also forecast India’s growth to be moderate at 6% in 2019 from 7.4% in 2018 due to lower-than-targeted tax collections and limited public spending in September this year.