Smartphone shopping skyrockets in the Asia-Pacific

Computers have lost serious ground to smartphones, when it comes to online shopping in Asia, according to the latest MasterCard Online Shopping Survey.

Computers have lost serious ground to smartphones, when it comes to online shopping in Asia, according to the latest MasterCard Online Shopping Survey.

The survey aimed to measure consumers’ inclination to shop online and included answers from 7,011 respondents, representing 14 markets across the Asia-Pacific.

Indonesia, followed by China and Thailand, turned out to be the strongest mobile shopping market, with almost 55% of respondents using their smartphones to shop in the last three months.

The survey revealed a notable increase in smartphone shopping, with more than half of the respondents in emerging markets like Indonesia, China and Thailand, using their smartphone to shop online within the past three months.

China showed the most propensity to conduct online shopping, followed by New Zealand, Australia, Singapore and South Korea.

Increased confidence in online shopping safety was considered as a major factor driving growth in China, with only 21.4% of the respondents feeling unsecure while shopping online, down from 32.8% in 2011 and 35.3% in 2010.

Singapore and Hong Kong recorded the biggest increases in online shopping, with both markets registering a 9 Index Point increase in 2012.

The behaviour of shoppers in the region is definitely changing, said Porush Singh, MasterCard senior vice president of Core Products, Global Products & Solutions, Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa: "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," he said.

Consumer confidence in online shopping is clearly growing, but security concerns still have a lot to say. A third of those who did not shop online said that safety concerns prevented them from conducting online transactions.

According to the MasterCard survey, consumer confidence in electronic payments may come down to familiarity with the different technologies. Trends indicate that the Asian consumers are ready for alternative payment methods: 45% of consumers are already familiar with mobile banking and a third are aware of SMS-MMS based payments.

However, those numbers may very well increase, with roughly two-thirds of the Asian consumers claiming that they would like to adopt mobile NFC payments, digital wallets and SMS-MMS based payments within the next year or so.