Ecommerce in Asia: A deep dive into pre- and post-pandemic effects

Over the past five years prior to 2022 the world economy has been riddled with economic woes primarily due to the pandemic shutdown and its lingering hangover with inflation and other economic woes. As retail sales from physical stores took a hit during the pandemic, retailers with an ecommerce presence experienced their online sales rising even soaring in some cases.  Asia’s 2022 5-year CAGR however deflated when compared to the previous 5-years ending in 2019.

In North America, the economy  rebounded as consumer demand lifted the use of ecommerce retail stores outpacing consumers prior shopping behavior prior to the pandemic. Though the immediate return on this demand triggered inflation to rise potentially reducing consumers purchasing’s power in 2022. However higher prices did not hinder North Americas online sales over these formidable years compared to the 3-year period prior to 2019. Europe too, though struggling with a war within the continent and mounting prices due to inflation, online retail sales has continued to outpace the pre-pandemic level.

Asia’s online retail sales, on the other hand, growth over the past three years restricted below to its pre-2019 three year-period, though that does vary by nation within Asia with all eyes on China. The Diplomat reported in the beginning of 2022,  China “accounted for a quarter of global GDP growth in 2021, down from a third before the pandemic“.

The decline of Asia online sales, particularly China’s consumer spending and their decline in exporting and importing manufactured goods is notable with Asia’s global share of online sales volume. When comparing 2019 to 2022, Asia lost 4.4 basis points dropping to 21.0%. North America gained 3.7 basis points rising to 57.4%. Europe’s share remained stable and Latin America’s grew but their volume is so low it makes up a very small fraction of the overall share.

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