Here's what the APAC buys online. Source: Shutterstock

Here’s what the APAC buys online. Source: Shutterstock

New report highlights online shopping habits of APAC residents

EVERYBODY in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region likes to shop on mobile. Be it Hong Kong, Singapore, or Malaysia, there’s a strong preference for mobile shopping — driven by the convenience that the local e-commerce platforms offer.

Lazada and Shopee in Singapore and Malaysia, for example, offer a great UI and UX via their mobile app and make shopping easy and convenient with several payment options and delivery solutions.

According to a new report by GfK, online purchases rose across most product categories in the past year, and mobile payment usage is up by 30 percent.

What does the APAC buy on mobile?

In the region, it seems as though apparel, toys, and wearables remain the top three most popular products purchased online — over 50 percent of consumers made online purchases in these categories in the past six months.

The report also revealed that the frequency of online purchases in APAC is trending upwards from a year ago, for a majority of the categories tracked, led by the beauty and personal care, toys, and baby care categories.

APAC Consumer Shopping Insights 2018 I FutureBuy 2018

Source: APAC Consumer Shopping Insights 2018 I FutureBuy 2018

“Online shopping is growing rapidly at a global level as an increasing number of consumers are realizing and appreciating the many advantages it offers,” explained GfK Consumer Insights Lead for APAC Karthik Venkatakrishnan.

“Largely driven by the deepening internet penetration rate across countries, the appeals of purchasing online boil down to lower prices, convenience and the availability of greater options,” he added.

When it comes to their choice of device to use for internet shopping, over a third of APAC consumers said they prefer to shop on smartphones.

This rising trend is seen particularly in China (45 percent), India (42 percent), and Indonesia (39 percent). In Singapore, one in three (33 percent) agreed with the statement.

However, the GfK study found that there was a significant difference in the type of product categories purchased using the different devices.

For instance, while fast moving consumer goods are mainly bought through smartphones, larger items like laptops and appliances tend to be purchased on PCs.

The APAC is onboard with digital payments

According to the study, making payments via mobile phones continues to be a popular option with APAC consumers—when shopping online, as well as at the physical store.

Over half (54 percent) of the region’s consumers agreed that they prefer to use this mode of payment when transacting online, and slightly more (55 percent) said the same for transactions in the physical store.

In Singapore, consumers who agreed that they prefer to pay with their mobile phones online, and in physical stores stood at 42 percent and 36 percent respectively.

Meanwhile, across the region, mobile payment usage has also spiked 30 percent over last year, mainly contributed by the millennials — finds GfK.

APAC Consumer Shopping Insights 2018 I FutureBuy 2018

Source: APAC Consumer Shopping Insights 2018 I FutureBuy 2018

“Although cash remains king for now, making up 41 percent of all of APAC consumers’ transactions, using cash as a payment method has declined 5 percent compared to a year ago, and we foresee a persistent downtrend in the coming years,” observed Venkatakrishnan.

“On the other hand, the usage of mobile payments and online wallet will continue to pick up over time as consumers’ become increasingly comfortable and confident with this method, and ease up on their concerns towards personal information and security associated with credit cards,” he concluded.