Emerging Markets Lead Mobile Shopping Charge in Asia Pacific, Mastercard Survey Reveals

Mobile shopping growth is dialing up in Asia Pacific’s emerging markets, outpacing their more developed counterparts, according to the latest Mastercard Mobile Shopping Survey. Consumers in the Philippines (53.5 percent) and Malaysia (55.6 percent) top the region with the highest year-on-year growth in mobile shopping, recording increases of 12.6 percent and 10.1 percent respectively.

Meanwhile, consumers in India (75.8 percent) retain their crown as the region’s top mobile shoppers for the second consecutive year, having made at least one purchase through their mobile phones in the three months preceding the survey. China’s mobile shoppers remain a close second at 71.4 percent, followed by Thailand at 65 percent. On the flipside, more advanced markets like Japan (31 percent), Australia (26 percent) and New Zealand (26 percent) are keeping their mobile purse strings tight.

Asia Pacific’s penchant for mobile shopping has also fueled a steady increase in digital wallet adoption, with more than one in five consumers (22.3 percent) using such payment methods. The region’s consumers are also embracing QR code payments. Over one in ten consumers use QR code payments with the most avid users hailing from China (42.6 percent) by a wide margin.

“Consumers in many of Asia Pacific’s emerging markets are mobile-first users, having leapfrogged the traditional payment evolution. Their governments are making significant efforts to push the development of the e- and m-commerce landscape as well as its supporting infrastructure, which has in part contributed to the growth we’ve seen in the latest survey results,” said Benjamin Gilbey, Senior Vice President, Digital Payments and Labs, Asia Pacific, Mastercard.

“Today’s consumers have shifted from simply being one-device users to one-app users, as they demand more seamless payment experiences. This calls for greater collaboration between public and private sectors and industry players, to facilitate interoperability among the plethora of payment options available today. Recent progress made in this direction, such as the standardizing of QR-based payments in India and Thailand, has been encouraging. We see many opportunities for further growth and remain committed to working with industry partners in enabling commerce for every device,” noted Mr. Gilbey.

Key findings from the Mastercard Mobile Shopping Survey:

  • Over the past five years, shoppers in India tracked the largest increase in mobile shopping by 45.5 percent across Asia Pacific. Following closely were the Philippines with a growth of 32 percent and Malaysia with 30.2 percent.
  • While shoppers in India (45.5 percent) and China (38.2 percent) lead the pack as the region’s most avid digital wallet users, Malaysia recorded the largest growth in usage with a 14.8 percent increase from 11 percent the previous year.
  • Majority of consumers across the region (53.6 percent) cite convenience as a key reason for shopping on their mobile devices, particularly those in China (70.9 percent), Thailand (60.8 percent) and Taiwan (59.2 percent). Contrary to the rest of the region, majority of consumers in Malaysia cited the ability to shop on the go as a key reason, as opposed to convenience.
  • Clothing and fashion accessories (34.9 percent), personal care and beauty products (21 percent) and movie tickets (20.2 percent) are the top purchases made by Asia Pacific’s mobile shoppers. Interestingly, this was not the case for mobile shoppers in Japan, New Zealand and Taiwan, whose top purchases include books, CDs and DVDs; toys and gifts; and personal and beauty care products, respectively.
  • Consumers in China (27.8 percent) and Korea (26.8 percent) lead the region when shopping for items from supermarkets and superstores via their mobile devices.
  • Preferences for in-store shopping continues its steady decline across Asia Pacific, dropping to 45.9 percent from 48.6 percent two years ago. Consumers in India record the sharpest decline of 10.3 percent from 54.7 percent in 2015, likely due to the significant progress in developing the country’s e-commerce industry and supporting infrastructure.

Methodology

The Mastercard Mobile Shopping Survey was carried out across fourteen markets in Asia Pacific (Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand & Vietnam). A total of 8,738 consumers aged 18-64 were polled online in November 2016 on questions relating to the mobile shopping landscape, categories of m-commerce purchases, as well as reasons for shopping online versus brick and mortar stores, among others.

 

The Mastercard Index suite in Asia Pacific includes the long-running Mastercard Index of Consumer Confidence, as well as the Mastercard Index of Women’s Advancement, Mastercard Index of Financial Literacy, and the Mastercard Index of Global Destination Cities. In addition to the indices, Mastercard’s research properties also include a range of consumer surveys including  Online Shopping, Ethical Spending and a series on Consumer Purchasing Priorities (covering Travel, Dining & Entertainment, Education, Money Management, Luxury and General Shopping).

Mastercard (NYSE: MA) is a technology company in the global payments industry.  We operate the world’s fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories.  Mastercard products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone.  Follow us on Twitter @MastercardAP and @MastercardNews, join the discussion on the Beyond the Transaction Blog and subscribe for the latest news on the Engagement Bureau.

Data

% of respondents who have made a purchase using a smartphone

  2016
Asia Pacific 51.6
Australia 26.1
China 71.4
Hong Kong 44.3
India 75.8
Indonesia 58.5
Japan 30.8
Korea 60.9
Malaysia 55.6
New Zealand 26
Philippines 53.5
Singapore 46.4
Taiwan 51.2
Thailand 64.9
Vietnam 56.4

 

% of respondents who currently use digital wallets & mobile banking applications

  2016
  Digital Wallets Mobile banking apps
Asia Pacific 22.3 33.7
Australia 13.6 37.9
China 38.2 30.1
Hong Kong 16.6 13.8
India 45.5 44.3
Indonesia 14.9 25.0
Japan 5.3 10.4
Korea 16.1 43.5
Malaysia 25.8 51.6
New Zealand 9.7 38.4
Philippines 27.3 40.2
Singapore 22.0 43.5
Taiwan 12.7 30.0
Thailand 12.0 30.1
Vietnam 20.7 23.3