Insight Around the World: Mobile Shopping in Asia
PORUSH SINGH, MASTERCARD
Asia’s appetite for online shopping has shifted from the PC to the smartphone with more than half of Indonesian and Thai consumers using their mobile phones to shop, according to the latest MasterCard Online Shopping Survey.
While China leads the region overall as the market with the most propensity to conduct online shopping (102 Index Points), ahead of New Zealand (87), Australia (85), Singapore (84), and South Korea (82), MasterCard’s survey revealed a notable increase in smartphone shopping. Indonesians topped the region with more than half of respondents (54.5%) using their smartphones to shop in the last three months of 2012. China follows closely with 54.1% and Thailand with 51%.
About 40% of online shoppers in Hong Kong, South Korea, and Singapore – which also have high internet-enabled mobile users – made a purchase with their phone during the three months. The least likely to shop online via their mobile phones, though, are respondents from New Zealand (18.2%), Australia (18.7%), and the Philippines (21.4%).
One in five of Asia/Pacific’s shoppers purchased a fashion item using their mobile phone at the end of 2012. Australians (32.4%), Koreans (28.8%), and Singaporeans (28.5%) have bought something ‘fashionable’ online through their smartphones.
Topping the list of categories that interest them are coupons/deal sites, which interested close to 40% of the respondents across the 14 markets surveyed. These types of sites are particularly strong in China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, South Korea and Singapore.
Most consumers in Asia/Pacific are also interested in music downloads, of which Thais, Filipinos and Indians are quite attuned with. Music downloads, however, are least likely to appeal to Japanese, Taiwanese and Australian consumers.
Fashion-related items are also of interest to most of the respondents across Asia/Pacific with 35% indicating interest in this category. These items, however, elicit stronger interest among Chinese, Thais, South Koreans, New Zealanders and Australians.
More consumers are opting to purchase goods online and increasingly using their smartphones to do it. With the exception of a few markets, online shoppers are becoming more confident about using their phones to shop and I’d expect that trend to continue as more sophisticated technologies come onto the market and more products are offered online.