APAC consumers shopping more on mobile

Consumers across 13 Asia-Pacific markets say their mobile purchases increased 22 percent this year over 2014, as revealed by a Visa e-commerce survey, which highlights narrowing gap between mobile and desktop online commerce.

More consumers in the Asia-Pacific region are shopping and paying bills via their mobile devices, instead of desktops.

Respondents in Visa's 2015 Regional E-commerce Monitor Survey noted a 22 percent increase in mobile shopping this year over 2014, with Indonesia, China, and Taiwan seeing the highest growth at 36 percent, 34 percent, and 28 percent, respectively. The study polled 11,760 respondents across 13 Asia-Pacific markets including Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Australia, and India.

Thai consumers were found to be just as likely to buy goods and services via their mobile devices as they would on desktops, according to Visa. It noted that this gap between mobile and desktop online commerce was narrowing in countries such as China, South Korea, and Indonesia.

Visa's regional e-commerce director Conor Lynch said the survey findings indicated an increasing "norm" in making purchases on the move. "As consumers get more comfortable using their smart devices to research, browse, and purchase, m-commerce should soon overtake traditional e-commerce habits, strengthening this channel of engagement between consumers and retailers," Lynch said.

The three most popular shopping categories among mobile consumers were fashion, bills, and movie, each accounting for 27 percent of purchases.

The popularity of these categories revealed that Asia-Pacific consumers were comfortable buying "smaller ticket-sized, everyday items" with their mobile devices.

In addition, Singapore online consumers engaged in cross-border shopping most often in the region, with 77 percent having done so, followed by their counterparts in Australia and Hong Kong at 75 percent each. In comparison, 81 percent of Japanese consumers chose to purchase online goods and services domestically, as did 61 percent of their peers in Taiwan and 57 percent in Vietnam.

When buying from overseas online retailers, 68 percent of respondents across the region would look at price, followed by 60 percent who would evaluate access to products, while 40 percent would assess the payment and delivery processes.