The Next Frontier – PayU’s global e-commerce report

Discover the latest analysis of online consumer spend in 19 countries across five continents in four fast-growth e-commerce sectors: Beauty & Cosmetics, Digital Goods, Fashion & Gallantry and Education.

High-growth markets report unprecedented surge in online consumer shopping, according to new PayU global e-commerce report

Amsterdam, Netherlands – 19 April 2021: PayU, the fintech and e-payments business of Prosus, today launches a report titled “The Next Frontier: the most promising markets for emerging e-commerce leaders in 2021 and beyond”, highlighting unprecedented consumer spending growth in e-commerce in high-growth markets that have often been overlooked before 2020 in favour of more traditional, Western markets.


The report examines four of the fastest growing consumer sectors where PayU sees the biggest growth potential over the coming years. It reveals that Latin America has the most promising and consistent growth trends and is set to become the new global e-commerce destination for Emerging E-commerce Leaders – fast growing online and omnichannel businesses looking to stand out in their sector.

Regions such as Latin America, Central and Eastern Europe, Africa as well as India and Southeast Asia, with increasing disposable income for certain population groups and growing both internet connectivity and mobile penetration, boast digitally savvy shoppers with strong demand for globally-sourced goods and services.


  • PayU’s data clearly indicates that Latin America is the place to be for any beauty and cosmetics merchant, with a regional growth rate of 133%. Meanwhile, data analysis showed that total online spend on beauty and cosmetics across the region reached nearly $3.8bn in 2020.


  • Consumers in Chile and Argentina in particular gravitated towards digital goods in 2020, where spending increased by 211% and 131% respectively, according to PayU’s data. In Argentina, consumer spend in the sector is expected to reach $615m by the end of 2021. Any merchants specializing in digital goods should look towards Latin America as the next big frontier.


  • Certain African markets performed strongly, with Kenya and Nigeria seeing 42% and 32% year on year growth respectively in Digital Goods in 2020.


  • Fashion and gallantry emerged as the sector with the highest consumer spend across every high-growth market. Annual consumer e-commerce spend in this segment is projected to be particularly high by the end of 2021 in India ($16bn) and Indonesia (>$9bn), followed by Russia, Poland, and Turkey (>$6bn) and Brazil and Mexico (>$5bn).


  • Lockdowns across the world transformed the education sector, with remote learning and virtual courses becoming the norm. Mexico and Argentina showed the biggest increase in education spend on PayU’s platform between 2019 and 2020, standing at 139% and 138% respectively.


  • The average transaction value in Education for merchants working with PayU increased the most in South Africa across 2020, up by $136 on 2019 average transactions.


Download the report to find out which overseas markets present the biggest opportunities in Beauty & Cosmetics, Digital Goods, Fashion & Gallantry and Education for emerging e-commerce leaders in 2021 and beyond.

Download PayU’s global e-commerce report


To uncover growth opportunities for Emerging E-commerce Leaders PayU has conducted data analysis in 19 countries across five continents on four fast-growth consumer goods sectors: Beauty & Cosmetics (haircare, fragrances, personal care, skincare and make-up), Digital Goods (digital music, video on demand (VOD) platforms, streaming platforms, video and audio-conferencing platforms, and ePublishing), Fashion & Gallantry (apparel, footwear and bags & accessories), and Education (online courses, professional educational services, school publishing, and school and universities fees).


External data was primarily sourced from Statista in January 2021. In order to compare this directly to PayU’s own data, annual growth rate from 2019-2020 was calculated based on total e-commerce spend. 2021 projections were generated in 2020 by Statista and based on consumer spending between January 2019 and September 2020. All PayU data was sourced in January 2021.


The data is taken from the following countries: Czech Republic, Poland, Romania, Russia, Turkey, Mexico, Panama, Colombia, Brazil, Peru, Chile, Argentina, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore and India.