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Six Billion Shoppers: The Companies Winning the Global E-Commerce Boom

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  292 ratings  ·  37 reviews
"From China to India to Nigeria, e-commerce is entering a golden era in countries that were long left out of the e-commerce gold rush experienced in the West. If the story of the first twenty years of e-commerce’s growth was set in developed markets, the story of the next twenty years will be set in emerging ones. The rise of e-commerce in emerging markets is being driven ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published August 22nd 2017 by St. Martin's Press
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James Lawner
This was a very interesting read, and it taught me so much about the history of e-commerce in foreign countries and international business more so than the online course I took for International Business!

I highly recommend this to anyone who's interested to know more about this subject, it's got a lot of facts, figures, historical information and predictions, and I feel that this book could be updated and revised in the future because some of the predictions made have yet to come. I'd also like
Øystein Nygård
This book is a must for anyone working in ecommerce, or trying to get in there. It takes a world view on ecommerce and presents each region with its issues and kinks, and relates all back to what platforms are successful and how the culture of buying & selling - ingrained in the people of the different regions - can be the root to the fact that different regions prefer different ecom models. The book opened my eyes to new markets and gave a great context to the things we see happening in ecommer ...more
Akshay Ratan
Apr 19, 2021 rated it really liked it
The book is a fantastic read and provides rich information on A to Z of e-commerce markets across the world colorfully captured by Porter Erisman's experience with Alibaba in China and his travels through India, South East Asia, Latin America and Nigeria.

Six Billion Shoppers takes the reader through very detailed and interesting accounts of how e-commerce markets have shaped around the world diving deep into the companies that made it happen across geographies. The book captures what made few e-
Neeraj Kohli
Covers all key markets but only skims the top. Lacks indepth understanding of each market

Gives some interesting history and insights of e commerce markets across the world. Fails to do an in-depth analysis of any market and skims real issues, challenges and advantages, sometimes unfair, that succesful ventures have had. Also doesn't address host of wrong practices that plague e commerce in the developing world.
Oct 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
E-commerce is still an emerging and changing activity, even though it feels to have been present ‘for ever’ – and for many it has! Some countries are ahead of others with this activity, yet even those who are catching-up are finding new and often different opportunities that may be something for the established markets and their participants to consider.

So this is a great, thoughtful book that gives a lot to the reader, since very few – if any – can really keep track of everything that is happen
Tristan von Zahn
Dec 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This book grew on me. Given the opening I was expecting this to devolve into a travelog that attempted to try and give a flavour of the countries being discussed rather than discussing the particular challenges that different cultures created for ecommerce platforms in the country. Happily, I was very wrong, and Erisman gave very interesting accounts of each country he examined.

In general, I gathered that three kinds of barriers exist for ecommerce in the developing world (and that did not exis
Ryleigh Cheese
Jul 07, 2021 rated it liked it
If you are an e-commerce newbie like me, this is an informative read, but it’s probably a bit outdated, considering it was published in 2017 - a testimony of how fast the landscape is changing. Do note that this is NOT meant to be a how-to guide. It’s more of an observational book detailing the rise of the current giants, why some businesses fail, the market conditions and unique cultures (+needs) of the different markets, and predictions.
However, I do have a few gripes about this book.
1. The
Mandar Behere
Jun 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book is an excellent read for each and every e-commerce enthusiast. The author has meticulously covered several e-comm businesses across the globe. He has talked to several founders, understood their business philosophy and then have written this book, which makes it worth a read. His own experience at Alibaba also adds the essential flavor of insider and adds to the authenticity of the book.

The book covers all the continents and also makes some predictions about how e-commerce would evolv
Apr 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I read this book after reading the author's other book (Alibaba's World). This book is an interesting read for someone who is interested in the e-commerce industry as it give different perspectives of how the e-commerce in different regions started and some of the challenges they're facing. It was insightful as the content includes the author's interviews with leaders and founders of some of the leading e-commerce companies.

As the book was published in 2017, some of the examples are slightly dat
Martijn van Deel
Jun 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The book Six Billion Shoppers takes you to the first start of Ecommerce in the United Stated. From the mail-order catalog to Walmart department stores to the rise of Amazon and eBay. Next it will take you to Chine, the biggest Ecommerce market in the world. The culture of China leads to a more social approach to Ecommerce. This book will discuss the biggest players Tencent, Jingdong and Alibaba. And it will give you a viewport into the likely future of Ecommerce in China.

You don`t have to be an
Patrick Pilz
Dec 15, 2018 rated it liked it

Porter Erisman had been working for Alibaba for years. He is trying to make a world tour of e-commerce and the book starts exciting. As the first couple of chapters show with depth the economic and social landscape in China and India, the book fizzles fast when it comes to other parts of the world. A book I would suggest reading if you work for an e-commerce company with international ambitions, or you need for other reasons a primer on e-commerce in the world. In all other cases, you may b
Zack Applewhite
Nov 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Starts off with a history of Ecommerce.

Because of the author’s professional history with Alibaba, there is an emphasis on China. Author gets a bit preachy when it talks about what China’s government needs to do to promote Ecommerce.

A pretty good map of Ecommerce around the globe, what companies are prevalent there, the market as it stands, and the author’s predictions.

Overall it was very educational and interesting. While the insights into current markets become quickly outdated as political and
Rod Barit
Feb 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
1. Companies to watch out/read more about: MercadoLibre, Flipkart, Tokopedia, Paytm, Lazada,, Snapdeal, Rocket Internet, Ant Financial, Tencent, Naspers, Sea (Shopee),, Softbank, Alibaba

2. E-commerce will continue to grow esp in developing markets - cheaper smartphones and internet would enable more people to transact online. Investments in infrastructure (seeing this in Philippine logistics) would make this even faster.

3. Opportunities abound - becoming an entrepreneur is ea
Tien Nguyen
Mar 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Very interesting read for e-commerce enthusiasts, especially those who are working in the field & have felt doubtful of what business approach they should trust & follow. This book drew clear overall picture of what proved to be successful for each respective market. SEA is obviously an emerging market for ecommerce & by following Alibaba's marketplace-led approach, it is showing better scale & achievement compared to Amazon's retail-led one. Hence, there comes along with QA & operations issues ...more
May 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Quite a lovely read.

Lovely isn't the word I usually would use for books of this nature but Porter Erisman's likeable character radiates. He had been Vice President of the AliBaba group and yet his humility and effort to understand the diffferent cultures of emerging markets stand out. Not one bit of pretentiousness or probably even mention of his status at AliBaba.

Erisman gives an insiders look on the industry of E-Commerce and his insights are not only valuable to anyone in the business (not
Sumit Agrawal
Apr 25, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Loved the book, every part of it. For someone who didn't have knowledge of e-commerce companies, I expected to be a much more informed person after reading this book, and I must say it lived up to my expectations. Written in a very simple language, the author gives a detailed explanation of e-commerce firms across the world, their business models, why a model worked/didn't work in a particular market, learnings and a lot more. I would recommend this to anyone who is looking to learn about e-comm ...more
Zubair Sohail
Aug 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
The book is a good overview of the current landscape of the internet economy and how it might change given the author’s experience in the e-industry. There are lots of researches cited and examples of major e-commerce businesses that are currently the leaders in the emerging markets. I would recommend this book to anyone willing to get a general idea about the internet economy and how it will impact us in the future.
Sandip Roy
Mar 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
A great account on the genesis of e- commerce across key markets and continents around the world with the origins in US and later in China. Would be great if the book can be updated with the current status of the industry, especially whether the China model is actually working in other markets and the current status in India and south east Asia where a several erstwhile key players have wound up businesses or been acquired in the process...
Jul 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A very informative book about the E-commerce industry across the world. The book has analyzed the companies present in the industry regionwise, provided pros and cons to their models and explained the thought process of the teams.

Overall, a big you can go back to, to understand he macrotrends of E-commerce, and use for reference whenever required.
Oct 11, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: business
A solid review of where e-commerce has been and where the author sees it going in the future.

From the title I was expecting to go deeper on the cross-border e-commerce, however the book stayed pretty local (touching pretty much all continents).

Loved the emphasis on localizing business models to fit the new locale.

(This was a Goodreads giveaway)
Kah Wee
Dec 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Excellent summary of the general ecommerce landscape in the world. What's most interesting in Latin America and India which the author highlighted. The takeaway is many ecommerce ventures aren't successful because they simply adapted an existing model that worked elsewhere. ...more
Jingwei Shi
Jul 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: tech, china
Another interesting book by Porter Erisman expanding on his first book Alibaba World. Although this due diligence is not in depth, this book does give a brief overview of the emerging e-commerce players and competition around the world.
Jun 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Every merchant should read this.

You are getting very real and valid point of views from people all over the world which you can then relate with your business and decide on what and where you should focus on, and Porter Erisman himself is always an earnest voice to listen to.
Mar 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great overview of the world’s e-Commerce markets and companies.
Apr 21, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: sociology, economics
Interesting content but boring writing style.
1% of info - India is rising. China has risen. Sell shit online to these people and you'll do well.
Murtaza Yahya
Nov 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The book is a must read for anyone who wants to understand the e-Commerce boom!

Benjamin Yeo
Dec 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
A good easy read on the state of affairs of the e-commerce world in different geographical markets now.
Jerome Manalo
Dec 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Culture dictates how technology is applied.
Gopi Ganesan
Feb 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Very informative! not just for e-commerce retail enthusiasts..
Feb 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent examination of e-commerce from an international perspective, written by the former VP of Alibaba.
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Porter Erisman worked as a vice president at Alibaba Group from 2000-2008, joining the company just as it moved out of founder Jack Ma's apartment. He is the writer and director of Crocodile in the Yangtze: The Alibaba Story, an award-winning documentary about the rise of Alibaba and its famous founder. Erisman is also the bestselling author of Alibaba's World: How a Remarkable Chinese Company is ...more

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