E-commerce is booming, with all sorts of products being bought and sold, especially Diamonds, Diamond Engagement Rings, and Wedding Rings. We recently made note of this trend here:
Asia is the next E-Commerce frontier. No doubt there are still many consumers out there that are skeptical if this trend will continue and/or are just flat-out more comfortable shopping for their Jewelry at their neighborhood Jewelers. Well, for you skeptics and non-believers, a peek into the future might just change your mind.
At the Red Herring Asia 2006 conference Wednesday in Hong Kong, Safa Rashtchy decided to travel to 2026â€”10 years further than other analysts dare to look.
A managing director of Piper Jaffray who analyzes the Internet, Mr. Rashtchy said more than half the worldâ€™s Internet users would be in Asia by 2026: 1.3 billion out of a total of 2.5 billion.
Despite the large number, the penetration rate would be only 30 percent, leaving huge scope for growth.
Companies in this space would do well to address the Asian markets. In China, for instance, 39 percent of Internet users are in the age group of 18 to 24. Another 25 percent are between 31 and 50 years old, while 18 percent are in the 25 to 30 age group.
Shantanu Bhagwat, business development partner for Asia at Amadeus Capital Partners, said Indiaâ€™s online community is growing, though not as fast as its population of mobile phone users.
Indian cell phone users download ringtones worth about $100 million a yearâ€”and these downloads are not necessarily from high-end users.
Mr. Bhagwat expects online and mobile commerce in India to increase substantially in the next few years.
â€œAbout 67 percent of Indiaâ€™s GDP is made up of consumer spending, second only to the U.S., which is over 70 percent,â€ he said. â€œI expect a big chunk of spending will move to online platformsâ€”on the Internet or on mobile phones.â€
Chinaâ€™s homegrown Internet properties compete with well-established ones from the U.S., and consolidation is starting to happen.
Local companies in India still have to get numbers, but thereâ€™s a huge revival of interest in the online space. Venture capitalists, both local and those from Sand Hill Road, are investing in online companies, hoping for large monetization as online communities grow.
MakeMyTrip.com, an eVentures-funded online airline and hotel booking company that began catering to local travel in India in September 2005, is getting huge traffic these days.
CEO Deep Kalra believes Indiaâ€™s web commerce of about $500 million is just the tip of the iceberg. â€œThere are endless opportunities,â€ he said.