According to the research report on online sales in BRICS by Alibaba Research, the number of online shoppers in BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) countries is forecasted to reach 1.35 billion users in 2022, taking up 61% of the global online shopping users.
Of which, online retail sales will increase to USD $30061 million, which will take up 59% of global figure. This shows that close to 60% of online retail sales amount originated from BRICS. Cross-border online retail sales will increase to USD $5536 million, increasing to 41% of the global figures.
Interesting to note, China is the world’s largest online retail market currently, with 4.7 billion online shoppers, reaching 63.8% of the online community for online retail shopping. In 2016, China’s retail sales reached RMB 51556 million (approximately USD $7762 million), with an increase of 26.2% as compared to previous year.
For 2016, the scale China’s cross-border online marketplace (including B2B and online retail) has a year-on-year increase of 25%, increasing from 19.5% of China’s total export figure in 2015 to 24.7% this year.
Furthermore, Russia shows a phenomenal speed of growth in cross-border online retail amongst the 5 BRICS countries. For 2016, the number of Russian online shoppers had exceeded 40 million, and online shoppers hit as much as 41.2%.
In 2016, Russia’s cross-border retail sales have achieved a total sum of USD $43 million, with a 26.5% increase as compared to last year. Russia is evidently a heavy user of online shopping as compared to the other 4 countries.
On the other hand, India is a bustling country with large population figures and many untapped potentials. For the year of 2016, the Indian online community has reached 4.6 million users, surpassing America to be the world’s second-largest online marketplace, just behind China.
For the year of 2009, India’s online retail marketplace was only valued at USD $38 million in 2009, and it has now rapidly exploded to USD $380 million, with an annual increase up to 39%.
58.4% of India’s cross border online sales transactions were completed through smartphones and other mobile devices. Hence, the development of India’s online merchants are thus even more reliant on mobile technology and the widespread adoption of wireless data.
Brazil is Latin America’s largest online market. The number of online shoppers in Brazil has reached 60.5 million, with 43% of the online community adopting online shopping. In 2016, the Brazil consumers has total transactions of USD $43 million on cross-border online marketplace, with an increase of 17% as compared to 2015. Putting aside Asia Pacific region, Latin America is the fastest growing online retail, and Brazil is the largest player in the Latin America region.
On the other hand, online business took off fast in South Africa, despite having a late start. South Africa is one of the more developed countries within Africa region. They have a population of 55 million, 28.58 million users in the online community with a penetration rate up to 52%, only second to Nigeria. In 2016, the scale of online retail in South Africa has grown to 2.33 billion, with an increase of 14.2% from 2015.
According to the report, with the development of Internet services and widespread adoption of smartphones, it brought exponential growth to the five BRICS countries, bringing record opportunities and development for their economy and society. This has become the new growth engine for the BRICS countries in the new age.