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2013 Global Digital Economy - The Buoyant E-Commerce and M-Commerce Markets

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Last updated: 9 Oct 2013 Update History

Report Status: Archived

Report Pages: 155

Analyst: Kylie Wansink

Publication Overview

This annual report is a valuable resource of information on the global development of e-commerce and m-commerce and incorporates key insights, statistics, examples and trends. The report explores some of the larger issues surrounding the rise of Over-The Top (OTT) services and provides BuddeComm’s insights into e-payments, e-banking, entertainment apps, mobile location based services and digital advertising. The report includes regional information across North America, Europe, Africa, Middle East, Latin America and Asia Pacific.

Subjects covered include:

  • Industry transformation, Over-The-Top services and the digital economy;
  • Global e-commerce, e-payment and m-commerce markets;
  • Global mobile location based service insights;
  • Global mobile and digital entertainment;
  • Global digital advertising and marketing;
  • Regional overviews for North America, Europe, Africa, Middle East, Latin America and Asia Pacific.

Researchers:- Kylie Wansink, Paul Budde, Lucia Bibolini, Peter Evans, Paul Kwon, Henry Lancaster, Peter Lange
Current publication date:- October 2013 (6th Edition)

Executive Summary

Industry conditions create perfect recipe for e-commerce and m-commerce to thrive

The e-commerce and m-commerce sectors must represent one of the most innovative and rapidly evolving sectors worldwide; with the speed that new services, features and companies appear (and disappear) quite a spectacle to observe.

Recent industry and economic conditions have been a challenge to the telecoms operators – however in contrast these same industry conditions have provided the perfect recipe for digital e-commerce and m-commerce to thrive. From the rise of Over-The-Top (OTT) services and app stores offering more digital channels for e-retailers to reach audiences; to the growth of smart phones and improved infrastructure  – all mixed with consumers willingness to seek cheaper and broader retail options; the e-retail sector is finally coming into its own.

Demonstrating this buoyancy, in 2013 well over $1 trillion will be spent worldwide. E-commerce offers more than just cheaper alternatives for consumers; it provides a larger pool of products stretching beyond geographical boundaries; the ability to browse extensively, compare prices and shop from home. However while it is B2C e-commerce that seems to attract much of the global media attention; it is important to acknowledge that it is actually B2B spending that holds the largest market share of e-commerce spending with over $12 trillion spent worldwide in 2012.

The rising popularity of smart phones and uptake of tablets, along with improved mobile infrastructure has been a key driver to the rise of mobile commerce. Mobile commerce is one of the hottest sectors right now and it is gaining importance for a wide range of industries, including telecommunications, IT, finance, retail and the media, as well as for end-users. It works best in those areas where it can emphasise the core virtue of mobile networks – convenience. The enormous success of smart phones is linked to the large range of available apps and increasingly commercial models are being linked to these apps - which will result in further spectacular growth in m-commerce.

The Mobile Location-Based Services (MLBS) sector has evolved and the full potential of this technology is starting to be revealed. Advertising, travel, weather, vehicle tracking and accessing local business information are just of the other applications for LBS. The sector will continue to evolve as handsets with smarter capabilities, new apps and user interfaces permeate the market. This technology will also be included in the broader concept of The Internet of Things and Machine-to-Machine (M2M) developments.

It has become clear that OTT is ‘the new normal’ for the telecoms industry and these services are viewed as a substantial threat by the traditional network operators. The companies offering them are also perceived to be getting a free lunch over their networks – the European telcos in particular are calling for international regulation. This in essence is the same argument as the one the bricks-and-mortar retailers are making when they complain about online shopping and ask their governments for tax increases to address the problem. This would be detrimental to the digital economy which is driving the desperately needed innovations and new jobs essential for countries to recover from the global economic downturn.

BuddeComm’s new report, Global Digital Economy – The Buoyant E-Commerce and M-Commerce Markets, provides important insights into how the telecoms industry transformation and growth of Over-The-Top (OTT) services has both impacted upon the digital economy and the telcos. This unique report includes information and statistics on the global e-commerce, e-payments and m-commerce markets; mobile location based services and apps based on entertainment.  In addition the report provides insights and statistics on the global digital advertising sector which provides a valuable source of revenue to many of those operating in the online sector. Insightful regional overviews written by BuddeComm’s Senior Analysts are provided for North America, Europe, Africa, Middle East, Latin America and Asia Pacific.

Examples of key insights:

  • Demonstrating the innovation occurring in this sector; in September 2013 PayPal launched its Beacon service which utilises Bluetooth technology to allow a shopper to complete an in-store purchase without having to physically open the PayPal app.
  • Sending Person-to-Person (P2P) payments via email has become a hot area in 2013 with both Google (Gmail) and Square (Square Cash) entering this sector.
  • Mobile Location Based Advertising (LBA) is a key area for development with predictions it will account for over 30% of the mobile advertising sector by 2017.
  • The digital entertainment market is now worth billions of dollars in revenue and is driven by the growing uptake of smart phones and touchscreen tablets.
  • Banks finally seem to be embracing the new digital environment and understand that they too will have to change in order to play a key role. An emerging driving force is social banking.
  • Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea and Australia are just some of the countries in Asia Pacific which have embraced online spending and there is room for much growth ahead. It has also become recognised that China and India offer enormous potential in the future.
  • Competition from the e-tailers and e-marketplaces is greater than ever in Australia, due to the strong Australian dollar, growing confidence in using online payments and the ease of setting up an online store. In the New Zealand sector Near Field Communications (NFC) payments are popular.
  • The Middle Eastern e-commerce sector is expected to grow by a third by 2015.
  • In the USA the mobile sector is increasingly driving traffic to e-commerce sites. Across Canada the most common types of online orders are for travel services, entertainment, books and magazines, clothing, jewellery and accessories.
  • Europe has seen m-payments stimulated by a growing range of specialised mobile money offerings.
  • During the last two to three years the Latin American region has become one of the main growth areas for e-commerce globally.
  • In Africa’s most advanced markets, m-commerce, mobile content, applications and media have reached a level of development that is beginning to foster an associated advertising and marketing industry.

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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