Mexico has vaulted into the top 20 list of the world's retail e-commerce markets, lending a burst of support to North American supply chain professionals as they look to benefit from the global shift to online markets.
The country jumped onto a list of the world's top 30 global retail e-commerce marketplaces, finishing 17th after not even making the list last year, according to the 2015 Global Retail E-Commerce Index compiled by management consulting firm A.T. Kearney.
The ranking is more than just an honor; Mexico's rising economic heft could help the U.S. logistics industry tap into a global torrent of e-commerce trade that saw sales swell by 20 percent in 2014, to almost $840 billion, the firm said.
Mexico made the list in large part thanks to a young, connected population that boosted its online shopping habits by 32 percent year-over-year to US$6.6 billion in 2014, Kearney said. That pace of rapid growth is forecast to continue over the next five years.
Mexico could not solely rely on its relatively modest economy of US$1.29 trillion to make the list. In fact, the top half of the retail e-commerce ranking is packed with members of the world's largest economies, led by the U.S., China, the U.K., Japan, Germany, and France. Instead, Mexico made the grade based on a sparkling forecast for growth. Just one in six Mexican mobile phone users shopped on their smartphones as of 2012, leaving plenty of room for penetration, A.T. Kearney found. Further, more than half of the country's online sales in 2013 came just from its three largest cities—Mexico City, Guadalajara, and Monterrey—indicating great potential for increased sales as the rest of the country climbs on the e-commerce bandwagon.
A third factor contributing to Mexico's jump in e-commerce growth was faltering performances by some of its neighboring states, such as Brazil, Venezuela, and Argentina. All three countries slumped to lower spots on the Kearney list.
Combined with the United States' number-one ranking in the survey and Canada ranked number 11, Mexico's new top-20 performance promises a fast-growing regional economy for North America's warehousing, shipping, and distribution professionals, according to Kearney. The study said that companies poised to benefit include the Mexican brands Soriana S.A. for fresh food delivery, department store chains Liverpool and Coppel, brick-and-mortar and e-commerce giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc., and Amazon.com Inc., the world's largest e-tailer.