Thought Leadership

#ExpansionIndex: Finding Value in Emerging Countries

In an earlier follow-up to Hyperwallet’s 2018 Marketplace Expansion Index, we took a closer look at our Established countries category. These nations, ranked #1-12 in the Index, offer the broadest appeal to marketplaces seeking to expand their operations into a new geography. The category includes well-developed or fast-growing markets like China, the United States, and Germany, among others.

Here, we want to explore the next segment of countries in the Index, which we’ve labelled our Emerging category, and highlight some of the benefits that these markets can offer.

What’s an Emerging Country?

Ranked #13-24, Emerging countries exhibit many of the strengths we see in the Established category, but they often present challenges that we may not see elsewhere. Some of the obstacles marketplaces may encounter in these regions include:

  • Dominant Local Incumbents
    Local or regional marketplaces may have already claimed significant market share or enjoy strong government protectionism, making these countries a tough nut to crack.
  • Imperfect Consumer Base
    Whether it’s a small population, low digital literacy, or limited ecommerce activity, countries with an imperfect consumer base can present some unexpected difficulties for marketplaces trying to get established.
  • Difficult Business Environments
    A major differentiator between these countries and those ranked more highly is the ease of doing business. Strict regulations or unstable governments can throw a wrench in a marketplace’s expansion plans.

Difficulties aside, Emerging countries offer some real benefits that can go overlooked by marketplaces hoping to break into more developed nations. Nordic countries like Norway, Sweden, and Finland boast amongst the highest payment infrastructure scores of all the nations Hyperwallet evaluated. Indonesia has an enormous pool of available freelance workers with a fast-growing ecommerce market. Hong Kong offers top rankings in cross-border transactions and logistics infrastructure with a huge demand for foreign goods.

Don’t let countries in our Emerging category go overlooked—one might just be the perfect fit for your expanding marketplace.


Download Hyperwallet’s full, 133-page 2018 Marketplace Expansion Index and check out our interactive expansion map here.

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