E-commerce transactions in SEA increasingly mobile: iPrice

  • Online shopping in SEA Markets has shifted to smaller devices
  • Shoppers in M’sia, S’pore, Philippines prefer to shop using desktop computers

iPrice Group believes that the shopping behavior of online shoppers has changed in Southeast Asia (SEA), with some countries preferring mobile to shopping while others prefer desktop.

In his most recent study entitled “The State of Online Shoppers in Southeast Asia 2021/22”, the online shopping aggregator traces the impact on online shoppers of the rapid deployment of mobile broadband networks; the continued development of smartphones; and the impact of the Covid pandemic.

The data is based on data from 125 million unique users on the group’s websites supporting e-commerce in six key SEA markets, namely Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and Singapore.

The data was collected from January 1, 2021 to April 30, 2022, he said.

E-commerce transactions in SEA increasingly mobile: iPrice
According to iPrice, consumers were much more likely to shop online through their desktop computers than using their mobile devices five years ago.

However, times have changed and so have consumer preferences and today online shopping in most Southeast Asian markets has shifted to smaller devices, he added.

The company noted that mobile purchases are now almost twice as high as those made on desktop computers and that on average, 5% of visitors to iPrice’s site via a mobile device end in a transaction, compared to only 3% of visitors using a desktop computer.

The company said several macroeconomic trends have driven this change. This includes:

  • The rapid deployment of mobile broadband and a wider and more affordable range of Internet-enabled mobile devices (smartphones/tablets) have made it easier for consumers to browse and buy online;
  • E-commerce vendors have optimized their websites for smaller devices and launched mobile apps for improved customer experience;
  • Online stores have invested heavily in marketing initiatives to encourage mobile shopping; and
  • Some e-commerce players drive users to mobile through exclusive e-wallet features not available to desktop users, while others offer mobile-exclusive coupons or discounts for first-time purchases through handheld devices.

The study shows that Vietnam is an exception to this trend. In this market, customers browse a lot on mobile, but still prefer to make the final purchase on the desktop.

iPrice notes that consumer browsing habits and relatively underdeveloped mobile platforms explain this behavior.

He said most Vietnamese online shoppers seem to be actively browsing during working hours and are therefore more likely to use their desktop computer to shop.

Compared to other Southeast Asian countries, the push for mobile adoption is not as aggressive in Vietnam, he said. E-commerce transactions in SEA increasingly mobile: iPrice

Several popular merchants, such as The Gioi Di Dong and FPT, do not have mobile apps, so users can still access the e-commerce store via mobile, but many are turning to the desktop version, where the larger screen allows for more comfortable navigation. and shopping experience, iPrice added.

As mobile usage increases across the region, Indonesia is rapidly becoming a mobile-only e-commerce market.

iPrice said its 2021/2022 study found that 94% of shoppers use mobile to browse and research products, up 16% from 2016/2017.

Additionally, mobile consumers are likely to buy almost twice as much as those on desktop computers, he added.

This represents a complete reversal of data from 2016/2017 when purchases on computers were almost three times more likely than on mobile devices, he said.

iPrice said Indonesia is a Southeast Asian success story in the digital economy. His seven “unicorn” e-commerce startups have transformed the country’s online browsing behavior, attracting millions to mobile platforms.

A survey by We Are Social Indonesia found that 96% of respondents owned a smartphone, compared to 67% owning desktop or laptop computers, iPrice said.

The company said faster internet, wider coverage and access to affordable devices are all key contributors to a hyper-connected online community.

Other factors include the early adoption of e-wallets by Indonesian consumers and greater confidence in shopping through mobile payment systems.

However, although online shoppers in SEA are becoming increasingly mobile-friendly, desktop still plays a key role in e-commerce, especially in Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines, where the penetration of devices is high, the study says.

Also highlighted in these markets, online shoppers exhibit hybrid browsing and shopping patterns, moving across multiple platforms as they transition through the purchase funnel from awareness, search and the purchase decision.

The study also showed that e-commerce companies track this user behavior to adapt and target their marketing strategies.

This includes in-depth reviews of technical information and product specifications, content should be tailored according to the stage of the buying journey.

Additionally, the study indicated that detailed product guides are effective in attracting customers during the awareness and research phase.

It also indicates that email marketing campaigns and remarketing can be effective in converting those who have added products to their cart without checking out.

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