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E-commerce websites are no longer just offshoots of retailers' physical stores but valid alternatives for global expansion.
Today's most successful retailers see global expansion as a crucial platform for growth. Wary of "real estate wars" and long ROI horizons, many have seized the online retail opportunity to overcome these challenges. Retailers everywhere are diving into online retail as consumers across the globe in both developed and developing markets go online to buy products. They are using a variety of growth strategies, from grassroots websites to acquisitions of smaller online retailers or expansion of international shipping capabilities.
A.T. Kearney unveiled the first E-Commerce Index in 2012, highlighting the top 10 developing countries for online retail investment. This year we have taken the Index one step further, ranking the top 30 countries in both developing and developed markets. The rankings are based on nine variables, including select macroeconomic factors as well as those that examine consumer adoption of technology, shopping behaviors, infrastructure, and retail-specific activities. The Index balances current online retail market indicators with those that reveal the potential for future growth (see sidebar: About the 2013 Global Retail E-Commerce Index). This study is designed to help retailers devise successful global online retail strategies and identify market investment opportunities while understanding the tradeoffs and barriers to success.
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