Evolving countries are often overlooked for larger, more obvious geographies—however, if your strengths align with the unique opportunities presented by countries #25-36 on the Marketplace Expansion Index, you could enjoy first-mover advantage. Here are some of the underlying trends impacting our Evolving countries:
Many of the Evolving countries have yet to take a firm stance on the regulation of sharing economy models. Vague boundaries often make it easier to scale their operations within these regions, but there’s no guarantee that future regulations won’t derail your plans.
Large Freelancer Pool
Service-based marketplaces may find sourcing supply-side workers is easier in Evolving countries. Whether it’s by choice or due to a lack of traditional employment, workers in these nations are more willing and likely to embrace gig work on sharing economy platforms.
Navigating the muddy waters of politically unstable governments is never an easy task. Violence, economic hardships, and overt corruption are just a few of the challenges digital marketplaces might face in these countries.
Capitalizing on Cross Border Commerce
The difficult political climates in countries like Brazil, South Africa, and Malaysia, can often cause many global marketplaces from establishing on-the-ground operations in these markets. And while this can often block the expansion of service platforms, ecommerce platforms with sophisticated cross-border capabilities can still manage to attract market share from afar. The US version of Amazon.com, for example, is the third most visited web property in South Africa.
If your digital marketplace involves the local transport of either people or goods, be prepared to think outside of the box when expanding into Evolving markets (or at least, outside of the automobile). From bike-shares to on-demand scooters, cities with poor infrastructure pose a unique problem for on-demand, ride-hailing, and delivery-based sharing economy platforms. However, figure out a way to use this to your advantage and your services could become an integral part of the local economy. When it comes to payment infrastructure, companies should anticipate a large under-banked or unbanked population. Cash-based transactions tend to dominate; investigate innovative payments methods (cash-on-delivery, prepaid cards, etc.) to manage both the acceptance and distribution of funds.
Marketplace Expansion Index 2019 Rankings