MasterCard: Smartphone shopping trend sweeps Asia/Pacific region

Offering insight into mobile trends

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.

The survey, which serves as a benchmark that measures consumers’ propensity to shop online, was conducted across 25 markets between November and December 2012. The report for the Asia/ Pacific region included interviews with 7,011 respondents from 14 markets who were asked questions about their online shopping habits. 

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). China’s score has increased by 4 Index Points from last year’s index.

Driving these shifts in behaviours in China are increased confidence in shopping: only 21.4% felt unsecure while shopping online, down from 32.8% in 2011 and 35.3% in 2010. There is also an emerging view that shopping online is “easy” among 89.5% of the Chinese respondents, an increase from 80.8% in 2011.

Two-thirds (68%) of New Zealand respondents use the internet for online shopping among other activities, and 82.3% shopped online in the past three months. Singapore and Hong Kong, Asia’s premier shopping hubs, recorded the biggest increases in online shopping behavior with both markets registering a 9 Index Point increase in 2012.

Mobile shopping
MasterCard’s survey revealed a notable increase in smartphone shopping. Indonesians top the region with more than half of respondents (54.5%) using their smartphones to shop in the last three months. 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 in the past 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 in the past three months. Australians (32.4%), Koreans (28.8%), and Singaporeans (28.5%) have bought something ‘fashionable’ online through their smartphones.

“The MasterCard survey reflects the changing behaviors of shoppers in the region, with more consumers 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,” said Porush Singh, senior vice president, Core Products, Global Products & Solutions, Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa, MasterCard.

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