Asia is set to surpass North America and snatch the title of the world's largest e-commerce market this year, said the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).
According to a report published on Tuesday in Beijing by the EIU, an advisory company under the Economist Group, it is estimated that retail sales in Asia will grow by an average 4.6 percent on a volume basis to 7.6 trillion U.S. dollars, compared with 2.5 percent in North America and 0.8 percent in Europe in 2015.
Report editor Laurel West said that the Asian consumer market was largely driven by the rising independence and economic power of Asia's women, and female consumers in Asia are showing an unprecedented enthusiasm for online shopping.
The report is based on a survey of 5,500 women across major cities on the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macao, as well as countries including India, Japan, Singapore and the Republic of Korea. Among the survey respondents, 43 percent were in managerial, executive or professional services jobs.
Nearly half of the women agreed or strongly agreed that they preferred online- to in-store shopping. The proportion on the Chinese mainland was as much as 69 percent. Sixty-three percent of those polled browsed the Internet at least once a day for products and services, with nearly 30 percent doing so twice or more per day.
When choosing an online retailer, price and quality were the main factors considered, followed by genuine products and convenience.