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Magazines Archives - 2011 Feb

More Asia-Pacific consumers are shopping online, says Visa.
Story 7 - E-commerce

More consumers across the Asia- Pacific region are turning to online shopping, with China, Taiwan and India leading the region, a new report by Visa International stated. Close to nine out of 10 respondents from six markets across Asia revealed in the latest edition of the Visa eCommerce Consumer Monitor that they had shopped online in the past 12 months.

Speaking with Retail Asia, Paul Jung, Visa’s head of eCommerce, International, pointed out that for the 2010 study the group identified the six markets, namely China, India, Taiwan, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia, as “emerging markets in terms of online spend”.

“They are still considered under-penetrated and haven’t even reached their potential yet,” Jung stated, adding with the exception of Taiwan.

“Out of the six markets, China, Taiwan and India came out with the most respondents who were shopping online. Ninetyeight per cent of respondents in China shopped online over the past 12 months, followed by Taiwan with 97%, [while] the average spend came to about US$2,086, across the six markets,” Jung elaborated.

The report also noted that Taiwan nearly doubled the median spend in online shopping with US$4,041, while China beat the average with US$2,557, followed by Malaysia with US$2,006.

He pointed out that it was interesting that of the six markets surveyed, 87% of respondents shopped online in the past 12 months, where about 10 years earlier in developed markets, only about 57% of Internet users engaged in online shopping.

“The cycle of people converting from Internet users to online shoppers is getting shorter,” Jung continued, adding that respondents were also increasingly opening up to cross-border online shopping.

“Across the six markets, one in three, about 32%, responded that they shopped overseas, and the most popular category in shopping overseas was clothing and shoes, which accounted for about 25% of those who shopped overseas,” he said.

Another trend Jung noted was the growing segment of online-savvy shoppers who are looking out for the best deals. “If consumers are very experienced in shopping online, they’ll take more risks and actually look at the prices and go to merchants less known who offer more competitive prices,” he explained.

The convenience of online shopping and the technological evolution, such as mobile devices especially with smartphones, is also driving the e-commerce growth in the region, said Jung, and retailers need to keep their eyes and ears open on such trends and stay ahead by understanding consumers.

He also added that while most of the cross-border shopping sees Asian consumers e-shopping in the US and the UK, there is a huge potential for Asian merchants to reverse this trend, so that they sell more to overseas markets.

“The Asia-Pacific region is an export-oriented market and economy. E-commerce is going to happen, and everybody is expecting it to happen … but one of the biggest barriers for the online merchants here is the language,” Jung stated.

And while security remains the No.1 concern for shoppers regardless of their level of experience in online shopping, Jung revealed that the company has launched platforms such as the Verified By Visa programme to add an extra level of security to customers across the region.

“Security has always been one of Visa’s top priorities and I think it should also be a top priority for any retailer, because once you lose that trust, it is very difficult to bring the shoppers back,” he continued.

Although the region is just “scratching the surface of payment”, Jung remains optimistic that the next 12 months will see the e-commerce sector continue to grow. “On the average, 81% of respondents said that they intend to shop online in the next 12 months, and I think that’s a very good response. In the Asia-Pacific, as of June 2010, 825 million people have access to the Internet. That’s approximately 40% of the global Internet users. So it just shows you the potential growth in Asia,” he said.

To view other stories, get a copy of Retail Asia. To subscribe, please download the subscription form from http://www.retailasiaonline.com/subscription.html 



2011 Feb Stories:

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HOFEX 2011 – a world-class event for Asia’s food and hospitality markets

Cartes in Asia 2011 – for businesses looking for smart solutions

HR, Training & Customer Service - Mall operators and retailers in the region put priority on staff training at all levels to enhance service, with the aims of increasing revenues and profits as well as beating out their competition.

A ‘King’ sets up his retail empire in Singapore

Singapore to host Asia’s first Men’s Fashion Week 2011

More Asia-Pacific consumers are shopping online, says Visa.

SM Prime to pilot new shopping centre format in the Philippines

More consumers demand transparency in their food choices, report says

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