Asian shoppers close online gap

May 9, 2012 by  
Filed under News, Technology

BANGKOK, 9 May 2012: Thailand leads Southeast Asia’s growth in online and mobile purchases due to an increased enthusiasm for mobile shopping, according to the latest MasterCard Worldwide Online Shopping survey.

The survey of emerging markets, which serves as a benchmark to measure the trend to shop online, was conducted across 25 markets, 5 December 2011 and 6 February 2012.

Interviews were conducted with 7,373 respondents from 14 markets in the Asia/ Pacific region about their online shopping habits.

The survey indicated the gap was closing for online shopping in Asia/ Pacific markets compared with mature markets in North America and Europe.

Thailand was ahead in the region for online shopping (80%) and likelihood to make an online purchase in the next six months (93%), alongside China.

Korea (84%) and Malaysia (79%) also showed high intent to purchase over the next six months, with Vietnam scored (87%) despite a low percentage of people using the internet for online shopping (61%).

Overall, big increases occurred in Indonesia and the Philippines (+15% each); Thailand (+13%); and Australia (+10%) in terms of online shopping.

There were declines recorded of 17% in South Korea although it still had high intent to purchase at 84%, while India decreased 14% for online shopping followed by Singapore down 10%.

Vietnam was introduced into the study this year and gained an index score comparable to Malaysia and Indonesia.

The survey also said although a majority (71%) of respondents said they would rather use their laptop for shopping, using mobile phones to book gained points. In Thailand 59% said they would use mobile phones; China (37%); and Vietnam and India (32% each) all leading more established markets.

Mobile phone users bought Apps and music at 31% and 24% respectively followed by coupon deal sites and retailers for clothing and accessories (17% each), and cinema tickets (16%).

MasterCard Worldwide Asia Pacific Middle East Africa Emerging Payments Group Head, Philip Yen, said: “This survey shows that the markets once considered to be emerging in Southeast Asia are now in fact challenging—and in some cases overtaking—traditional and mature online markets in the region.”

“On top of this, smart phones are gradually becoming a trusted device of choice for shoppers in our region.”

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