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It seems China has some of the keenest online shoppers in the Asia-Pacific region, with Chinese consumers more likely purchase online than any other APAC country.
A new Mastercard study measured consumers’ tendencies to shop online between November and December 2012 and found that Chinese internet users shop online the most, registering a score of 102 on Mastercard’s Index for 2012, a figure that is up four points on the year prior.
According to the report, one of the main reasons for this rise in online shopping popularity in China is due to increased consumer confidence. Of those surveyed, only 21.4% felt unsecure when shopping online, down from 32.8% in 2011 and 35.3% in 2010.
Nine out of 10 Chinese consumers also reported that they found online shopping easy, a rise of around 10% on last year.
New Zealand had the second highest rate of online shoppers based on the MasterCard Index, with 87 Index Points, and figures showed that 8 out of 10 New Zealanders had shopped online in the past three months.
This was above Australia (85 Index Points), Singapore (84 Index Points) and South Korea (82 Index Points).
But when it came to biggest increases in online shopping behaviour, Singapore and Hong Kong stood out, both seeing an increase of 9 index points in 2012.
Deal sites, music and fashion
A quarter of Asia-Pacific shoppers have purchased a fashion item online in the past three months, with Australians the most likely to do so (32.4%).
Koreans were the second most likely to buy clothes on the internet (28.8%), followed by Singaporeans (28.5%).
Fashion retail was quite a popular shopping category amongst APAC consumers, with 35% of respondents expressing an interest in this area. Strongest interest was in China (54%), followed by Thailand (43%), South Korea (43%), New Zealand (40%) and Australia (40%).
Music downloading was also very popular with 36% of consumers in the Asia-Pacific region showing an interest in this area, but topping the list of categories that entice consumers online was deal sites.
Close to 40% of respondents indicated an interest in this area, in particularly China (70%), Hong Kong (54%), Vietnam (51%), South Korea (50%) and Singapore (47%).
Security is still a concern
Of those who didn’t make any online purchase in the three months surveyed, more than 30% said this was due to the lack of safety and security of online transactions.
More than 1 in 3 shoppers were also afraid of scams, prefering to buy locally in an attempt to reduce the chance of losing out, and many perceived a possible risk of information being compromised.
Security-related improvements and enhancements also ranked highly among respondents when they were asked what changes could be made to online shopping.
It looks like Asia’s appetite for online shopping is moving from the PC to smartphone in line with other global markets, with the report revealing a notable increase in the trend.
Indonesians were the most likely to use their smartphones to shop online and 54.1% reported they had done so in the past three months.
Chinese consumers were close behind with 54.1% shopping on their phone in the past three months, followed by Thai consumers with 51%. Hong Kong, South Korean and Singaporean shoppers all sat at 40%.
However, despite having high numbers of consumers who shop online, the countries least likely to use their smartphones to do so were New Zealand (18.2%), Australia (18.7%) and the Philippines (21.4%).
Porush Singh, senior VP APMEA, at Mastercard, said the report reflects the changing behaviours of shoppers in the region and expects more consumers will opt to purchase goods online via their smartphones in the coming future.
[Image credit: nobihaya]