Emerging markets in Asia Pacific lead mobile shopping usage chart

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Mobile shopping growth is growing sharply in Asia Pacific’s emerging markets, outpacing their more developed counterparts, according to the latest Mastercard Mobile Shopping Survey.

Consumer use in the Philippines (53.5 percent) and Malaysia (55.6 percent) top the region with the highest year-on-year growth in mobile shopping, recording increases of 12.6 percent and 10.1 percent respectively.

Percentage of respondents who currently use digital wallets and mobile banking applications

Percentage of respondents who currently use digital wallets and mobile banking applications

Meanwhile, consumers in India (75.8 percent) retain their 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 percent, followed by Thailand at 65 percent. On the flipside, more advanced markets like Japan (31 percent), Australia (26 percent) and New Zealand (26 percent) are keeping their mobile purse strings tight.

Asia Pacific’s penchant for mobile shopping has also fueled a steady increase in digital wallet adoption, with more than one in five consumers (22.3 percent) using such payment methods. The region’s consumers are also embracing QR code payments. Over one in ten consumers use QR code payments with the most avid users hailing from China (42.6 percent) by a wide margin.

“Consumers in many of Asia Pacific’s emerging markets are mobile-first users, having leapfrogged the traditional payment evolution. 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 latest survey results,” comments Benjamin Gilbey, Senior Vice President, Digital Payments and Labs, Asia Pacific, Mastercard.

“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, to facilitate interoperability among the plethora of payment options available today.

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

Key findings from the Mastercard Mobile Shopping Survey:

  • Over the past five years, shoppers in India tracked the largest increase in mobile shopping by 45.5 percent across Asia Pacific. Following closely were the Philippines with a growth of 32 percent and Malaysia with 30.2 percent.
  • While shoppers in India (45.5 percent) and China (38.2 percent) lead the pack as the region’s most avid digital wallet users, Malaysia recorded the largest growth in usage with a 14.8 percent increase from 11 percent the previous year.
  • Majority of consumers across the region (53.6 percent) cite convenience as a key reason for shopping on their mobile devices, particularly those in China (70.9 percent), Thailand (60.8 percent) and Taiwan (59.2 percent). Contrary to the rest of the region, majority of consumers in Malaysia cited the ability to shop on the go as a key reason, as opposed to convenience.
  • Clothing and fashion accessories (34.9 percent), personal care and beauty products (21 percent) and movie tickets (20.2 percent) are the top purchases made by Asia Pacific’s mobile shoppers. Interestingly, this was not the case for mobile shoppers in Japan, New Zealand and Taiwan, whose top purchases include books, CDs and DVDs; toys and gifts; and personal and beauty care products, respectively.
  • Consumers in China (27.8 percent) and Korea (26.8 percent) lead the region when shopping for items from supermarkets and superstores via their mobile devices.
  • Preferences for in-store shopping continues its steady decline across Asia Pacific, dropping to 45.9 percent from 48.6 percent two years ago. Consumers in India record the sharpest decline of 10.3 percent from 54.7 percent in 2015, likely due to the significant progress in developing the country’s e-commerce industry and supporting infrastructure.
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