Hong Kong’s e-commerce market stands to benefit from the Covid-19 pandemic as more consumers resort to buying goods online to avoid catching the virus.
The local market is set to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.9% between 2019 and 2024 to reach HK$226 billion (US$29 billion) by 2024, according to revised estimates by data and analytics firm GlobalData.
This year, e-commerce payments are set to record a sharp rise of 13.4% amid a shift from in-store to online spending, the company says, citing data from its e-commerce analytics.
“While the pandemic led to a decline in consumer spending, this is being partially offset by a rise in online spending, as wary consumers continue to stay at home and use online channels to purchase goods,” says Ravi Sharma, banking and payments lead analyst at GlobalData. ”The pandemic has resulted in a change in consumer buying behaviour, too, as they are avoiding visiting shopping centres and choosing online platforms for their day-to-day purchases.”
The online rush is expected to benefit popular online payment tools such as AlipayHK, WeChat Pay and PayPal. Meanwhile, leading bank and card companies are launching new products to capitalize on the trend.
Citibank, for example, collaborated with e-commerce provider HKTVmall in March to launch a co-branded credit card to offer exclusive benefits for online shoppers. In June, Visa launched the eCommerce Starter Package in collaboration with local e-commerce platform Boutir to help small and micro merchants to sell online and find new revenue streams and savings.
“Hong Kong has robust e-commerce market with high internet penetration and high preference for online shopping among consumers, especially younger demographics. The Covid-19 pandemic further accentuates this shift towards online shopping, supporting the payments market growth in the [city],” Sharma notes.