European nations continue to monopolise a global e-commerce ranking compiled by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), with no less than eight of the top ten positions taken by the continent.
The latest Business-to-Consumer (B2C) E-commerce Index ranks 152 nations by their openness to online shopping with Europeans once again taking a global lead, with the Netherlands and Switzerland taking first and second place respectively.
European nations muscled out all but Singapore in third spot and Australia at 10th to skew the rankings in their favour.
UNCTAD director Shamika N Sirimanne commented: “Our B2C index shows how real and worrying the digital gap is between developed and developing countries. For example, in half a dozen European nations, more than 80% of internet users make purchases online. But that proportion is below 10% in most low and lower-middle-income countries.
“There is an urgent need to help less prepared countries improve their infrastructure and build trust among their population. Otherwise, their businesses and people will miss out on the opportunities offered by the digital economy, and they will be less prepared to deal with various challenges.”
UNCTAD has previously partnered with Alibaba to assist entrepreneurs from developing countries across Asia.
The global market for online shopping was worth an estimated $3.9tn in 2017, a rise of 22% from the previous year.