Retail in Asia

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mCommerce making inroads: Asia-Pacific consumers choosing mobile to click and purchase

Asia-Pacific consumers are increasingly likely to make their online purchases and bill payments through mobile devices (mobile phone or tablet), rather than via desktops, a new survey says.

Visa’s 2015 Regional eCommerce Monitor Survey polled 11,760 respondents from 13 markets in Asia-Pacific and found respondents reported an average 22 percent increase from 2014 in shopping via their mobile devices (mCommerce) across the region. Respondents from Indonesia (36 percent), mainland China (34 percent) and Taiwan (28 percent) reported the greatest growth in mCommerce during the year.

The rising popularity of mCommerce among Asia-Pacific consumers is narrowing the gap with traditional eCommerce channels such as laptops or desktop computers across the region. In Thailand, consumers are as likely to purchase using their mobile devices as through desktops, while the mCommerce-eCommerce gap in countries such as mainland China (8 percent), Korea (9 percent) and Indonesia (9 percent) is decreasing.

"The results of the 2015 Visa eCommerce Monitor Survey show that making purchases on the go through mobile devices is becoming the norm in Asia-Pacific. As consumers get more comfortable using their smart devices to research, browse and purchase, mCommerce should soon overtake traditional eCommerce habits, strengthening this channel of engagement between consumers and retailers," said Conor Lynch, Visa’s Regional Director for eCommerce.

The survey found that consumers in Asia Pacific choose travel, bill payments and movies as top categories for eCommerce. For mCommerce, the top three categories are fashion, bills and movies.

"Across Asia-Pacific, we are seeing that ticket-size, as well as the nature of the purchase, impacts how consumers purchase goods and services online. Consumers in this part of the world, are already comfortable purchasing smaller ticket-sized, everyday items by clicking the purchase button on an app or checkout button on a mobile device," noted Lynch.

Another continuing trend the survey reveals is the tendency for consumers to engage in cross-border online shopping – online shopping is diminishing borders as barriers. In particular, consumers from Singapore (77 percent), Australia and Hong Kong (75 percent) and New Zealand (74 percent), are the most likely to make online purchases from retailers abroad, well above the regional average of 55 percent. On the other hand, consumers from Japan (81 percent), Taiwan (61 percent) and Vietnam (57 percent) are more likely to shop at domestic online stores.

When shopping online with an overseas retailer, price (68 percent), access to products (60 percent), paying and delivery processes (40 percent) and reputation of products (29 percent) are key motivations for Asia-Pacific consumers.