Asia Pacific: Heaven for Online Shops!

Mon 16 April 2012 12:10, Vitto Christaldi

Asia Pacific: Heaven for Online Shops!

Asia Pacific, an emerging market? Well, think again! A recent survey by MasterCard shows a shift in the Asia Pacific online shopping market towards what is called a “mature” market.  In general, online shopping is increasing in Indonesia (+15%), Philippines (+15%), Thailand (+13%), Australia (+10%), and New Zealand (+9%), with declines in India (-14%), Singapore (-10%), and Korea (-17%).

The survey was conducted between December 5th. 2011 and February 6th. 2012, which included 7,373 respondents from 14 markets in the Asia Pacific regions: Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam. According to the survey, Thailand and China are leading with 80% shoppers online, followed by Japan (73%), Korea (71%), Australia (68%), Malaysia (67%), and New Zealand (67%). “This survey shows that the markets once considered to be emerging in South East Asia are now in fact challenging—and in some cases overtaking—traditional and mature online markets in the region”, according to Philip Yen, Group Head, Emerging Payments, Asia Pacific Middle East Africa at MasterCard Worldwide.


The infographic by MasterIntelligence

These increases were also affected by the growth of mobile phone usages in Asia Pacific. According to the study done by InMobi Mobile Shopping and Mobile Commerce, 80 percent of mobile web-users in Asia Pacific made purchases through their mobile devices. These stats are also supported by by the MasterCard survey, as I quoted “Although a majority (71%) of respondents said they would rather use their laptop for shopping, the mobile phone is rising rapidly as the device of choice for Asian shoppers in emerging markets, with respondents in Thailand (59%), China (37%), Vietnam (32%) and India (32%) all leading more established markets.

But why mobile phones? Isn’t online shopping via computer or laptop more convenient than through mobiles? Apparently the respondents do not entirely agree with me: 57% of the respondents think it is more convenient to shop using mobiles, while 46% argue the availability of mobile apps makes it easier for them to shop. 

Ipsos, a global market research company headquartered in Paris, also recently released a similar study. They announced that 48% of online citizens around the world have used the internet in the past three months to buy online products/services. Moreover, 61% use the internet to research the products they are thinking to buy; lead by Sweden (80%), Turkey (74%), Great Britain (71%), Indonesia (69%), South Korea (69%) and the United States (68%).

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