New markets embracing mobile shopping

Emerging markets in Asia Pacific are outpacing more developed countries when it comes to mobile shopping, the latest Mastercard Mobile Shopping Survey shows.

Consumers in the Philippines (53.5 per cent) and Malaysia (55.6 per cent) top the region with the highest year-on-year growth in mobile shopping – increases of 12.6 and 10.1 per cent respectively.

Consumers in India (75.8 per cent) keep the 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 per cent, followed by Thailand at 65 per cent.

On the flipside, more advanced markets like Japan (31 per cent), Australia and New Zealand (both 26 per cent) are less active.

Mobile shopping has also seen digital wallet being adopted by 22.3 per cent of Asia Pacific consumers. More than 10 per cent also now use QR code payments, China leading the way with 42.6 per cent.

“Consumers in many of Asia Pacific’s emerging markets are mobile-first users, having leapfrogged the traditional payment evolution,” says Mastercard Asia Pacific senior VP for digital payments and labs Benjamin Gilbey.

“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 survey.

Need to collaborate

“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.”

Gilbey says there has been “encouraging” progress in this direction, such as the standardising of QR-based payments in India and Thailand. “We see many opportunities for further growth and remain committed to working with industry partners in enabling commerce for every device.”

Key Asia Pacific findings from the Mastercard Mobile Shopping Survey:

● Over the past five years, shoppers in India tracked the largest increase in mobile shopping (45.5 per cent), followed by the Philippines (32 per cent) and Malaysia (30.2 per cent)

● While shoppers in India (45.5 per cent) and China (38.2 per cent) lead in digital wallet use, Malaysia had the largest growth in uptake with a 14.8 per cent increase from 11 per cent the previous year.

● Most consumers (53.6 per cent) cite convenience as a key reason for shopping on mobile devices, particularly those in China (70.9 per cent), Thailand (60.8 per cent) and Taiwan (59.2 per cent). However, most Malaysian consumers cite the ability to shop on the go as a key reason.

● Clothing and fashion accessories (34.9 per cent), personal care and beauty products (21 per cent) and movie tickets (20.2 per cent) are the top purchases, except in Japan, New Zealand and Taiwan, where the top purchases were books, CDs and DVDs, toys and gifts, and personal and beauty-care products.

● Consumers in China (27.8 per cent) and Korea (26.8 per cent) lead the region when shopping for items from supermarkets and superstores via mobile device.

● In-store shopping continues to decline in popularity, dropping to 45.9 from 48.6 per cent two years ago. India had the sharpest drop, 10.3 per cent from 54.7 per cent in 2015.

The survey covered 14 markets (Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam). A total of 8738 consumers between 18 and 64 years old were polled online in November.

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