2008 Global Digital Economy - M-Commerce, E-Commerce & E-Payments

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Last updated: 4 Nov 2008 Update History

Report Status: Archived

Report Pages: 138

Analyst: Stephen McNamara

Publication Overview

This annual report offers a wealth of information on the trends and developments taking place in the worldwide m-commerce and c-commerce sectors. The report provides analyses of the issues surrounding the growth of e-commerce, including e-banking, e-payments and online advertising. Information on mobile commerce developments are also provided, including m-payments and m-banking. Comprehensive information on the exciting developments taking place on a regional level is included along with statistics and forecasts for both the e-commerce and m-commerce sectors.


Subjects covered include:

·         Analyses of key e-commerce trends;

·         E-commerce statistics and forecasts;

·         Internet statistics and forecasts;

·         Analyses and statistics for the emerging market of China;

·         Information on e-payment and e-banking sectors;

·         Analyses of key m-commerce trends;

·         M-commerce statistics and forecasts;

·         Information on m-payment and m-banking sectors;

·         Information on net neutrality;

·         Regional overview including North America, Latin America, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific.


Researcher:- Kylie Wansink

Current publication date:- October 2008 (1st Edition)
Next publication date:- October 2009

Executive Summary

E-commerce is now an important part of the economy, particularly in the developed markets. While e-commerce is still in its infancy in many emerging markets, this is set to change in the coming years especially in China. In 2008 China now has the highest number of Internet users in the world, overtaking the USA. E-commerce growth in the USA remains strong however, with China also offering significant opportunities for those operating in the e-commerce space. 

Worldwide the number of Internet users has now reached around 1.4 billion and billions will be spent by consumers during 2008 on online retail. While the economic slowdown will most likely curb e-commerce growth somewhat over the next couple of years, particularly spending on online advertising, there is evidence that so far the online retail market has remained steady due mostly to the lower prices offered via online shopping.  

Internet banking has slowly become more popular around the world, with 30% or more of Internet users utilising such services in some markets. However many online banking websites have at least one potential design weakness that could leave users vulnerable to cyber attacks. Improved bank security measures over the last couple of years, such as the introduction of home chip and pin devices is helping to combat this issue. 

In the next few years the total entertainment and publishing industry (including offline and online) is expected to be worth more than $2 trillion – driven in particular by a wave of growth in online video games, gambling, music, social networking/UGC, and online video. In recent times sales of digital music, mostly via the Internet, have increased by more that 30%; in contrast sales of CD and DVDs continue to decline. Online video consumption is also beginning to produce promising results and advertisers have begun to seriously take note. Pay-to-own downloading is particularly popular and new business models in this area are expected to emerge over the next few years. Travel and adult content services are also popular with more growth expected ahead. 

Mobile commerce is potentially important for a wide range of industries, including telecommunications, IT, finance, retail and the media, as well as for end-users. It will work best in those areas where it can emphasise the core virtue of mobile networks – convenience. However while there are good applications, the technologies and business models to date have not been well suited to mass market applications. The regulatory environment has also held this market up. This is beginning to change as banks and merchants collaborate with mobile operators. Applications around contactless cards using Near Field Communications are also being developed around the world. Focus has also turned to the developing markets, where mobile phones are being viewed as an opportunity to reach the masses that would not otherwise use m-payment or m-banking services.
In countries such as Kenya and India, national mobile banking systems are thriving and they are literally popping up around the world as well. In Kenya, 3 million out of Vodafone's 10 million subscribers are using mobile banking services and Vodafone is rapidly rolling the service out in other countries as well.
This annual report provides an insight and analyses into the trends and developments taking place in the m-commerce and e-commerce sectors. The report provides analyses of the trends and issues impacting upon the growth of e-commerce, including e-banking, e-payments and online advertising sectors. Analyses of the developments taking place in mobile commerce are also provided, along with information on m-payment and m-banking. Statistics and forecasts for both the e-commerce and m-commerce markets are provided. The report also includes valuable insights and statistics on the developments taking place on a regional level including North America, Latin America, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific.  

Key highlights:

·         By 2012 it is expected that more than 1 trillion will be spent online by B2C consumers. B2B spending will exceed this considerably.

·         E-payment solutions are an important part of e-commerce transactions; however security issues continue to tarnish the industry.

·         Asia Pacific leads the world in terms of using mobile phones for m-payments, accounting for around 85% of customers worldwide.

·         BuddeComm estimates revenue from mobile content and services (excluding SMS), accounts for around 7-10% of total mobile revenues worldwide. SMS remains popular and accounts for a further 10% of total mobile data revenues.

·         Online advertising growth is set to continue for the next few years, but will slow slightly in the wake of the US financial crisis. It is expected that online advertising will eventually account for around 20% of all advertising spend in some markets.

·         Search services are central to almost everything that users do online, and this places leading search companies such as Google and Yahoo at an advantage. In the emerging Chinese market, Baidu and Alibaba also have a good foothold.

·         Google is still the most popular website property worldwide; however individual countries and regions show unique differences with many local sites remaining popular. Other web properties proving popular across multiple markets include Yahoo, Microsoft and Wikipedia sites, Apple Inc, eBay and Amazon.


Comparison of popular websites in different markets – 2008




United Arab Emirates


Google sites

Google sites

Google sites

Google sites

Yahoo! sites

Yahoo! sites

Yahoo! sites

Yahoo! sites

Microsoft sites

Microsoft sites

Microsoft sites

Microsoft sites

Wikipedia sites

Wikipedia sites

Wikipedia sites

Wikipedia sites

Rakuten Inc




FC2 inc

Fox Interactive Media


United-Internet sites

NTT Group


Gulf News


GMO Internet Group

Amazon sites

Amazon sites

ProSiebenSat1 sites


Time Warner - excluding AOL

CNET download.com

Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck

Nifty Corporation

Ask Network


Arcandor AG

Amazon sites

New York Times Digital

AME Info

T-Online sites

Apple Inc

Apple Inc

United Arab Emirates University

Deutsche Telekom

NEC Corporation

Viacom Digital


Vodafone Group

Sony Online

Glam Media

UAE Women Network

Otto Gruppe

(Source: BuddeComm based on various industry sources, 2008)

Note: This is not a ranked list.



Data in this report is the latest available at the time of preparation and may not be for the current year.

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