Top E-Commerce Retailers in Asia-Pacific 2022
The e-commerce landscape is constantly changing, with new players entering the fray and old favorites retaining their top spots.
As of today, Asia-Pacific (APAC) is home to one of the world's largest e-commerce markets with an array of business potentials and expansion opportunities. According to EuroMonitor International, the APAC region is projected to experience the highest compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of retail sales value from 2020 to 2025, with digitalization, connectivity and demographics being the three main drivers of growth.
With this in mind, we have compiled a list of the top e-commerce retailers in APAC that are making waves in this year's market. Do you recognize any of these brands? What made them different from the rest? Let’s find out!
Note: The list has been adapted from EuroMonitor International's "Top 100 Retailers in Asia 2021" Report.
#1 Alibaba Group
With a net income of 47 million yuan and controlling around half of the e-commerce market in China, Alibaba Group is undoubtedly China’s biggest e-commerce company. Its services are provided on various online platforms including Marketplace and Taobao.
In recognition of the significant amount of trading that is carried out offline in China, Alibaba has set out to provide a synchronized online-offline system which will enable clients to enjoy better services.
As part of its "New Retail" strategy, the company has also launched new digitized stores in which various technologies, including artificial intelligence, are employed to give customers an enhanced and personalized shopping experience. Furthermore, Alibaba also has stakes in many retail businesses across various niches. More specifically speaking, the Group provides services through a list of subsidiaries, including Freshippo, Youku and Cai Niao.
#2 AEON Group
Operating since 1926, AEON Group is one of the oldest retail companies in Japan. Despite its longstanding history, the company has continued to evolve with the times and provide efficient retail services. AEON currently has over 20,000 stores in active operation in several countries.
The company’s target is to achieve service digitalization and improve its capabilities to provide smooth technology-led services. To realize this, the company seeks partnerships with various tech experts. In 2019, for instance, it made public a partnership deal with Ocado that allows AEON customers to use the state-of-the-art Ocado Smart Platform which manages logistics delivery and improves customer experience.
Last year, American online marketer Boxed.com announced that it had reached an agreement with AEON for Boxed’s e-commerce technology to be used to help drive AEON's e-commerce services. In July 2022, the companies came to an agreement to expand their partnership beyond Malaysia.
Suning.com provides online retail services for a broad range of products, with an emphasis on the use of technology to provide better e-commerce services for its clients. To this end, the company’s logistics center in Nanjing is completely automated with artificial intelligence for product storage and retrieval with minimal human intervention.
Suning’s investments in research and development bore dividends during the COVID-19 pandemic. As physical contact between individuals became increasingly restricted, the company launched its self-driving delivery cars delivering goods over a three-kilometer distance unmanned. Four years before the outbreak of the pandemic, Suning had begun to transport goods to customers via robots programmed to detect and avoid obstacles.
#4 FamilyMart Uny Holdings
FamilyMart is currently considered as Japan’s second-biggest convenience store chain. The company is the result of a 2016 merger between two convenience stores: FamilyMart and UNY. It currently operates thousands of stores all over Asia.
Structured as community-oriented businesses, FamilyMart stores are connected to the local communities in which they operate and strive to develop as a part of it. Furthermore, in keeping with the word “Family” contained in its title, the company strives to cater to the needs of each client with the provision of easily-accessible quality products.
The American giant online marketplace Amazon is one of the top e-commerce retailers in the United States and the world at large. To guide its users to get the best goods on sale, Amazon has developed one of the world’s largest customer review databases on various products. This was achieved by offering various incentives to buyers who give reviews for products they purchase.
Furthermore, it has a good customer experience personalization which recommends products that clients are likely to want judging by their past transactions. For this, the company uses artificial intelligence to study the buying tastes of its clients. Amazon prime and Amazon web services are just two of the innovative offerings that Amazon presents to its customers.
#6 Seven and I Holdings
Seven and I Holdings is a Japanese company which is involved in a wide variety of businesses, ranging from real estate to banking among others. One of the businesses owned by this group is the largest convenience store in Japan, Seven Eleven, which focuses on providing retail services for its customers.
Seven Eleven offers customers a wide range of goods from many different brands. This ensures that customers can rely on Seven Eleven for all their various shopping needs, whether it is a quick bite or a medication. Furthermore, the company takes proper care of its employees and this translates to the courteous and friendly service which they offer to clients.
Shinsegae is a Korean company which runs the retail store outlet e-Mart. A key element of Shinsegae’s business strategy is its omnichannel services. Moreover, Shinsegae has exhibited what has been described as an “aggressive buying strategy” in acquiring businesses with the structure that the company requires. The company purchased eBay South Korea which held over 10% of the retail market share in South Korea for $3 billion.
Apart from mergers and acquisitions, however, Shinsegae has restructured e-Mart’s brand identity to make it more appealing to clients. It also went into a partnership with South Korean IT company Naver under which Shinsegae would benefit from Naver’s internet platforms.
With an annual revenue of nearly $600 billion, Walmart is a top e-commerce retailer in the United States. It also has a strong presence in the Asia-Pacific region with nearly 400 stores in China alone.
Walmart has successfully combined online and offline commerce to great effect. The company’s large number of stores means that clients have the option to choose to have their order delivered to them or to pick it up at the store themselves. Furthermore, Walmart’s wide range of products means that customers can buy all they need from a Walmart store and not have to go through the stress of getting different items from various retailers.
The Chinese e-commerce market is highly competitive with several ambitious and capable, if smaller brands competing with the behemoths such as JD.com and Alibaba. However, Pinduoduo is one of the top e-commerce companies that has made impressive efforts to stake a major claim to the country’s market.
In 2022, the company took the bold step of expanding into the United States, establishing Temu, a cross-border e-commerce website that offers users the opportunity to shop on a wide range of items ranging from real estate to fashion accessories. The company claims that it has the capacity to deliver goods to its American clientele as soon as seven days after ordering them from China.
In its 24 years of existence, JD.com has grown from selling optical disks to trading in a wide variety of goods from electronics to frozen food. It currently ranks number 1 in China’s list of biggest retailers.
“Powered by Technology for a More Productive and Sustainable World”. This is JD.com’s company motto and typifies its approach to business innovation. The company commits significant resources to research ways to better improve its logistics and supply services by utilizing cutting-edge technologies. In fact, in the last five years alone, JD.com has invested over 10 billion dollars into technological research and development. And this has yielded profits.
The company has the distinction of having the first completely automated warehouse on earth and is now working on building self-driven cars for deliveries. The aim is to provide highly efficient logistics services taking advantage of the best that technology has to offer.
In the wake of the COVID-19 disruptions to business, strategic innovation has continued to drive growth for retail stores in the Asia-Pacific area. Digital transformation in business has seen the growth in the popularity of mobile apps and e-commerce websites which continue to drive the region’s economy. Stay tuned to find out which retailers will make the list next year!
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