Regular readers of the Econsultancy blog will familiar with our weekly stats roundup that keeps you up to date with the latest digital marketing and ecommerce trends.

Well the world’s too big to cover in just one post a week, so we’ve decided to add to the insight with a monthly roundup of stats from APAC.

This inaugural post includes stats on mobile commerce, mobile ads, WeChat and a whole load on smartphone usage.

And for more of the same check out the Econsultancy Internet Statistics Compendium

Discount cartel

According to an anonymous source in the Economic Times, some of India’s biggest ecommerce players have made a collective decision to limit coupon discounting to 20% by the end of 2015.

20% is apparently the global average for discounts, but in India sites have recently been slashing prices by up to 40% which obviously eats into profit margins.

The sites involved in the deal allegedly include Flipkart, Amazon, Jabong and Snapdeal.

The source is quoted as saying:

There was a time when we were creating market using it (coupon discounting) as an incentive to make people come on board. Now we do think it is time to bring it to normal level.

Mobile shopping stats

MasterCard has published the findings from a study into mobile shopping habits across 14 countries in APAC.

It found that 70.1% of Chinese respondents said they had used their mobile device to make a purchase online. Results from other nations were:

  • India 62.9%
  • Taiwan 62.6%
  • Thailand 58.8%
  • Indonesia 54.9%

The study interviewed 7,000 people aged between 18-64 years.

Smartphone boom in Vietnam

Smartphone imports into Vietnam grew by more than half in 2014, with the increase driven largely by budget models.

28.7m mobile phones were shipped to Vietnam last year. This is an annual growth rate of 13%, though the growth rate for smartphones was a massive 57%.

Overall smartphones accounted for 41% of all phones shipped to Vietnam in 2014.

Smartphones in Philippines

The Philippines is also seeing a sharp increase in smartphone ownership, according to research from the IDC.

Smartphone shipments to the country grew 76% in 2014 compared to 2013. As a proportion of the total import market smartphones jumped from 24% to 47%.

Cheaper smartphone models costing less than PHP4,000 (US$90) accounted for more than 58% of all smartphone shipments in 2014.

The Philippines is now the third largest smartphone market in Southeast Asia after Indonesia and Thailand.

Feature phones boost mobile ad performance

Mondelez has published results from a six-week mobile ad trial that ran in Indonesia and the Philippines to promote Cadbury Dairy Milk.

The aim of the trial was to investigate whether Facebook on feature phones would be effective in driving brand metrics such as recall, message association and purchase intent.

This is important as smartphone penetration is just 15% in the Philippines and 23% in Indonesia.

Without being specific, Mondelez said it reached 36m people via mobile and achieved ‘exceptionally high’ ad recall and significant increases in message association and purchase intent.

Chinese show confused attitude to mobile ads

A survey by OMD has found that Chinese people see mobile ads as both annoying and interesting at the same time.

Though 94% of respondents felt that mobile ads were necessary, a further 89% said they were annoying and 75% said they were interesting.

Two-thirds of people (66%) agreed with all of these statements.

The survey interviewed 450 consumers across seven Chinese cities.

APAC internet breakdown

We Are Social’s ever useful ‘State of Digital’ report gives an updated breakdown of internet connectivity across APAC.

It shows that average internet penetration is just 36% and even in China the figure is less than half (47%), which means there’s obviously still huge untapped potential.

The report also gives an insight into social media usage across the region.

WeChat vs. WhatsApp

To round off our trip around Asia this month here’s an infographic comparing WeChat and WhatsApp.