According to comScore’s 2013 Latin America Digital Future in Focus report released last month, Latin America recorded the fastest-growing online population of any region during the previous year. The number of unique Internet visitors in the region grew 12% over the year to more than 147 million as of March of this year. The increased use of the Internet is driving online retail sales. Over the year, the number of online consumers in the region grew 16%. In fact, retailer Walmart’s website reported 11.7 million unique visitors in March, an increase of 163% over the year. It is this increasing online traffic that is attracting other e-tail giants into the region.
According to an eMarketer report, total travel sales worldwide are projected to grow from $962 billion last year to $1,131 billion by 2016. Online travel sales will account for $523 billion by the year 2016, growing from $374 billion last year. Online travel sales in the U.S. are expected to grow to $182 billion in 2016 from $151 billion last year. The European market is projected to grow from $141 billion to $176 billion over this period. Asia Pacific and Latin America see strong growth as sales more than double over the period to $131 billion and $34 billion, respectively. No wonder most online travel stocks are focusing on international expansion.
According to recent IDEX research, last year sales of fine jewelry and watches in the U.S. reached a record high of $71.3 billion, growing 6% over the year. For the year, sales of fine jewelry grew 6% to $61.9 billion in the U.S.
There is a whole bunch of private companies thriving in the market today and are valued near or above a billion dollars in the private market. Today, we will talk about one of them. Readers may recall, we introduced you to Patrick Grady, CEO of Rearden Commerce while ago. Today, we will revisit Rearden and see how far it has come.
A few years ago, I wrote about the emerging trend of niche e-commerce and the need for entrepreneurs in the space to internalize web 3.0 concepts to ensure a differentiated offering. Over the past few days, we have looked at several such niche providers within the online retail space. Another worth mentioning in the same segment is One Kings Lane.
I have been consistently bullish about e-commerce as a global phenomenon. However, compared to the scale of what is to come, we’re still only scratching the surface. Remember, the forecast is five billion consumers on the Internet by 2020 …
Read Building a Cross-Border e-Commerce Success Selling to Russia to get a feel for the appetite international markets have for American products (and extrapolate to European products as well). The company was built with a total of $2.3 million in investment, and it is about to hit $40 million revenue run rate this year.
Being in the UK this past week, with talks of the euro imploding, and so forth, I am reminded of how precarious the Western world’s economic situation is right now. But stories like this are reminders that there are many cross-border e-commerce opportunities that would meet the demand for European and American products in emerging markets.
Entrepreneurs, please note.