One billion new online shoppers are entering the market creating significant growth  opportunities for digital commerce: Accenture study

Millennials, Gen Z and Gen Alpha consumers are emerging over the next decade in eight fast-growing  countries signaling a need for companies to reinvent their digital commerce strategies

A new generation of over one billion digital native consumers are  emerging in eight fast-growing countries in the next decade, creating new areas of growth for  companies globally, found a new global commerce study by Accenture. 

Living in Bangladesh, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Nigeria, and the Philippines, these  digital consumers are between the ages of 6 and 26 and represent 36% of the aforementioned  countries’ population and their behaviors today offer key insights for companies looking to capture the  next wave of commerce-driven growth. 

According to Accenture Song’s report, “The Next Billion Consumers: A Fast-growing Opportunity for  Digital Commerce,” this next generation of consumers presents a significant opportunity for global  companies, particularly because digital commerce eases some of the traditional barriers to entry in  these markets. Plus, the research also found that despite digital commerce revenues having  quadrupled in these markets since 2017 — equating to $211 billion in 2022 – most multi-nationals are  not set up to serve these digital-first consumers. 

“These new consumers are relevant to companies that operate in these countries today as well as the  multinationals looking to grow their footprint and balance their global portfolios,” said Fabio Vacirca,  Global Commerce Lead, Accenture Song. “However, strategies based on the western model of  consumerism—the steady evolution from brick-and-mortar to digital commerce models that occurs  over decades—won’t work for these consumers. Companies will need to be digital-first, leapfrogging  older legacy approach.” 

Who are the next generation of digital consumers

The report spotlights how the digital shopping behaviors of these emerging consumers have the  potential to transcend boundaries and influence purchasing habits more broadly. Four core digital  shopper archetypes were identified from 3,000 digital consumers surveyed across the eight countries.

They are digital native purchasers, digitally savvy millennials, digital native content creators and digital alpha influencers.

Spanning three generations – Gen Alpha, Gen Z and Millennials – these four core segments of digital shoppers are already spending significant time online when discovering, considering and making a purchase.

    • The majority (80%) of surveyed consumers use online channels such as search engines, social networks and videos to research products or services before purchasing. • “Likes” and “good comments” on social media also influence 76% of these consumers’ online buying decisions. More than half of emerging consumers prefer shopping on social media apps to other purchasing platforms.
    • At least six in 10 (63%) social commerce shoppers say they are more likely to buy from the same seller again.
    • 65% of consumers prefer to use online payment methods. They also say that convenient delivery options, such as “click and collect” (73%) and free delivery (79%), are critical drivers of their online purchase
    • Three-quarters see easy-return policies as a key influence on their online purchasing decisions.

“Commerce is having a big moment right now in the boardroom, with CEOs asking where the next  wave of growth in commerce will come from,” added Vacirca. “This moment is similar to the tectonic  shift the telecommunications industry had when consumers leapfrogged landlines to mobile or  similarly in the movement from the theater to streaming services. The companies that will gain first mover advantage will recognize they need to be as digital on the inside as they are on the outside and  reinvent their commerce model to meet the needs of their future consumer.”

Accenture Research used both primary and secondary data-driven research methodologies,  conducted in 2022. They analyzed 92 countries across the Asia Pacific region, Middle East and North  Africa, and Sub-Saharan Africa to find rapidly growing countries with strong digital potential.