Retail in Asia


Diving into the growth of mobile commerce in APAC


Mobile commerce (m-commerce) in Asia Pacific has been growing steadily, fueled by a combination of rising smartphone ownership, faster mobile data speeds and – not least – savvier mobile retailers. In particular, the trend has become prominent in the past two years as people spend more time at home due to the pandemic and physical restrictions. 

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App Annie‘s ‘daily time spent in apps’ global report for Q3 2021 found that APAC countries are among the most committed to the mobile habit. Indonesians emerge as the top in the rankings (reaching 5.5 hours a day in apps), with South Korea at third (just hitting 5 hours a day); India taking the fourth spot (with 4.8 hours a day); and closely followed by Japan at sixth. 

Source: App Annie

The m-commerce scene in the region has witnessed significant changes as consumers spend more time on their mobile. Their passion has become even more apparent as they partake in the ongoing retail holiday and year-end activities. 

Below are the top 10 shopping apps that APAC consumers have downloaded on 11th November, based on combined iOS App Store and Google Play. 

Source: App Annie

Mobile shopping is trending up in APAC, but it may not be fully mature in various markets yet – for instance, India. There is definitely plenty of growth left, and much room for new trends to emerge in 2022.

What will be key for retailers is to adopt a mobile strategy that best fits their business goals and market maturity. One example is the Queenit app, which came out on top of South Korea’s breakout shopping apps for the year-to-date. What’s interesting about this hit product from app developer Rapport Labs is that it targets middle-aged women, rather than younger consumers who are more mobile-savvy. In just the first year of its release, the app has gained significant traction and was enough to attract the attention of investors, with SoftBank Ventures leading a round worth 5.5 billion won (US$ 5 million).

Source: App Annie

Even as we come to the close of this year’s holiday shopping season, it is never too late for brands to start planning for the 2022 edition. In fact, now may just be the right time to invest in their mobile strategy as the trajectory of m-commerce in APAC will continue to rise next year. 

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What today’s retail world needs is data and translate them into actionable insights. After all, the mobile app market is saturated and hyper-competitive. Armed with the right set of data such as real-time access to market trends and competitive insights, brands will be able to adapt swiftly and decisively to an ever-changing environment. This way, we’ll be able to develop and refine apps that can better capture the hearts of consumers and deliver a more holistic shopping experience. 


Cindy Deng, Managing Director, APAC, App Annie

(Source: App Annie)