There’s more evidence that m-commerce is on the rise in China, after a recent MasterCard survey found that over half of Chinese consumers who shopped online did so via their smartphones.
The annual e-commerce survey, which was conducted across 25 markets between November and December 2013, included interviews with 7,010 respondents from 14 Asia-Pacific markets. It found that two-thirds of consumers in the Asian region go online to shop. What’s notable is that nearly 100 percent of respondents from China indicated they made at least one online purchase in the last three months — and 59.4 percent of them made their purchases via smartphones.
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This comes as no surprise considering that in 2013, Chinese companies have been wooing consumers to shop on their mobile devices.
Furthermore, the trend of shopping via messaging apps also emerged last year, which is especially pronounced in China with Tencent-owned popular messaging service WeChat. Recently, Tencent invested in ‘China’s Yelp’ Dianping, as it seeks to up the ante of m-commerce and drive mobile shopping right within its communication platforms.
MasterCard cites the “ubiquity of Internet-enabled mobile phones” as contributing to the rising popularity of m-commerce in Asia. Across the 14 APAC markets surveyed, 46.8 percent of consumers cited convenience as the most compelling reason for smartphone shopping, while 41.3 percent pinned it down to the ability to shop on the go, and 40.8 percent said it was due to the growing availability of apps that make it easier to shop.
In Thailand, 51.2 percent of online shoppers made purchases via their smartphones, while that figure stood at 47.6 percent in Korea, 47.1 percent in India and 46.7 percent in Indonesia. The figure in Thailand comes despite recent information on chat app Line’s flash sales showing how m-commerce is behind e-commerce in the region — and indicates that m-commerce could very well be on the rise there, but maybe not yet on Line.
Interestingly enough, clothing and fashion accessories overtook apps for the first time ever to become the top category of items purchased via smartphones. Pierre Burret, the region head of Asia-Pacific, MasterCard Advisors, says that “this indicates a strong and successful shift by merchants to enhance the mobile experience to consumers to make it more convenient.”
Going forward, Burret notes that there is a strong need for e-commerce (and in turn m-commerce) providers to provide secure payment solutions to consumers in Asia — as the MasterCard survey also found that security remains a key consideration, with 85.3 percent of respondents citing it as a top concern when shopping online.
Headline image via Lintao Zhang/Getty Images