Emerging Trends in Ecommerce | Global Ecommerce Market Size | TNT

SME Advice: What are the Biggest Emerging Ecommerce Markets?


With ecommerce growing at a healthy rate all over the world, this industry shows no sign of slowing down any time soon. The global ecommerce market size is growing and with it more key opportunities are opening up for SMEs. They can take advantage of the growing ecommerce markets emerging in countries like Brazil, Russia, India and China, also known as the BRIC economies.

In this post, we take a look at these four big emerging ecommerce markets and the opportunities they could offer to a business hoping to expand internationally.


What are the BRIC Economies?

BRIC is an acronym commonly used to refer to Brazil, Russia, India and China, or the ‘Big Four’, and used to refer to the fast-growing, emerging economies of these countries.

Together, these countries make up a huge 40% of the world’s population and they are predicted by global investment bankers, Goldman Sachs, to become leaders of global growth and development by 2050.

Let’s take a closer look at each of these four growing economies and their market potential for ecommerce businesses in the UK:



This South American country already has a strong track record of online selling – their online marketplace, MercadoLibre, had 174.2 million users in 2016 and it has grown at an extraordinary speed, with the number of users having doubled since 2012.

This level of growth in just four years is a clear indication that Brazil should be on the radar for any ecommerce retailers looking to expand to an international market as the consumer base has a healthy appetite for online shopping.



The ecommerce industry in Russia was worth 920 billion rubles (or 14.85 billion euros) in 2016, an increase of 20% from the year previously. The same study showed that Russian consumers are increasingly showing a preference for foreign products and almost a third of the ecommerce market is made up of non-Russian sellers.

These are all positive arguments for UK ecommerce companies to consider doing business with Russia. Also, small parcels entering Russia are currently exempt from customs duties so you may not be required to pay taxes or fees when sending parcels to the country – allowing easier processes for businesses, as well as significant savings.



One of the fastest growing channels for retail sales is ecommerce in India and market research shows that there is a growing appetite for international brands and high-quality foreign products. This makes it an ideal market for UK businesses hoping to expand abroad.

Rising income levels in the country, as well as technological innovations like online payments and digital advertising, have all contributed to increased awareness of the ecommerce industry. Some of the most popular ecommerce items in India include clothing, household goods, consumer electrics and lifestyle products.



China’s ecommerce market is the largest in the world and also one of the fastest expanding, with an annual growth of around 35%. Online sales are expected to exceed $1.132 trillion in 2017, which means that almost half of worldwide ecommerce sales will be from China.

Some attractive growth opportunities in China’s ecommerce market have been identified in food, luxury and sports retail, with customers becoming more trusting of buying online and more willing to take advantage of online promotions.

The popularity of mobile shopping is one of the emerging trends in ecommerce in China, contributing to the continued growth of online shopping, as well as playing a key part in the predicted forecasts too.


As discussed, there is a large global ecommerce market size in 2017 and it is predicted to grow in coming years, especially in the BRIC economies. As such, it may be worthwhile for SMEs to research what opportunities are available in that part of the world and the logistics involved with expanding your operations to these countries. Our range of international ecommerce delivery solutions can help your SME capitalise on opportunities abroad with our experts providing a trustworthy delivery service to your business when doing business abroad.

With the right market research, your SME is able to capitalise on the rapidly growing size of the global ecommerce market by identifying the BRIC market your product is best suited to, along with a reliable supply chain to support your expansion plans.



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