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One Billion New Online Shoppers Are Entering the Market Creating Significant Growth Opportunities for Digital Commerce, Finds New Study by Accenture

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 (NYSE: ACN).

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About 1.4 billion digital-first consumers in 8 growing countries will enter the market in the next decade. (Graphic: Business Wire)

About 1.4 billion digital-first consumers in 8 growing countries will enter the market in the next decade. (Graphic: Business Wire)

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.”

Strategies to digitally unlock growth in these eight-fast growing countries and leverage consumer insights to reinvent legacy commerce strategies into relevant, seamless and engaging experiences can be found as part of the research report linked here.

Research Methodology

Accenture Research used both primary and secondary data-driven research methodologies, conducted in 2022. We 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. Additionally, we designed and fielded an online survey of 3,000 individuals across these eight countries. The online study was conducted July 13 – August 13, 2022. To understand consumer sentiment, we also used data science methodology to conduct a web scraping exercise looking at approximately 112,000 social media comments in the retail, consumer packaged goods, banking and telecommunications.

About Accenture

Accenture is a leading global professional services company that helps the world’s leading businesses, governments and other organizations build their digital core, optimize their operations, accelerate revenue growth and enhance citizen services—creating tangible value at speed and scale. We are a talent and innovation led company with 738,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries. Technology is at the core of change today, and we are one of the world’s leaders in helping drive that change, with strong ecosystem relationships. We combine our strength in technology with unmatched industry experience, functional expertise and global delivery capability. We are uniquely able to deliver tangible outcomes because of our broad range of services, solutions and assets across Strategy & Consulting, Technology, Operations, Industry X and Accenture Song. These capabilities, together with our culture of shared success and commitment to creating 360° value, enable us to help our clients succeed and build trusted, lasting relationships. We measure our success by the 360° value we create for our clients, each other, our shareholders, partners and communities. Visit us at

Copyright © 2023 Accenture. All rights reserved. Accenture and its logo are trademarks of Accenture.


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