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APAC leads online shopping, sales to hit $1 trillion by 2021

Asia Pacific continues to dominate the world in online shopping sales, according to data from market research group Forrester.

APAC is the largest region for online retail sales globally, with the geographic segment playing home to China, the largest online sales market, and India — the fastest-growing e-commerce market, according to Forrester.

Around 20 per cent of total retail sales will take place online in Asia Pacific by the year 2021. China is the largest market globally and accounts for nearly 80 per cent of Asia Pacific online retail sales. China booked US$517.15 billion in online retail sales in 2016, beating out the U.S. with web sales reaching $394.86 billion last year, according to the U.S. Commerce Department.

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Forrester said it expects China to become the first market to reach $1 trillion in online retail sales in 2020.

In terms of fastest-growth, India remains the top market in the world, expected to reach $64 billion by 2021 or a growth rate of 31.2 per cent over five years.

By channel, some 78 per cent of APAC online sales will from mobile transactions, said the group. Mobile commerce is forecast to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 15.6 per cent to reach $1 trillion in 2020, up from $539 billion in 2016.

By category, apparel is the largest group for online retail, followed by consumer electronics and computer hardware. Meanwhile, segments such as grocery, beauty and cosmetics, and homeware and furniture are the fastest-growing categories.

This shows the increasing maturity of online shopping in Asia Pacific, pushed on by purchases in China, South Korea, Australia and Japan, said the research group.

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