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Mobile Shopping Surges in Popularity: Two in Five Hongkongers Now Shop on Smartphones, MasterCard Survey Reveals

March 31, 2016 Statistics & Trends No Comments Print Print Email Email

Mobile shopping has become increasingly popular in Hong Kong and is now an important part of local consumers’ online buying behavior, with more than two in five making purchases via their mobile device in the last three months, the latest MasterCard Online Shopping Survey reveals. Meanwhile, well over three quarters (77.8%) regarded security of payment facility as a key consideration when shopping online.

Mobile Shopping

The widespread use (98.8%) of internet-enabled smartphones in the city has set the backdrop for more and more Hongkongers (42.9%) choosing to shop on their smartphones, marking an 18.3% increase since 2011. The survey also indicated that an increasing number of local shoppers are now embracing new payment technologies, with 11.2% currently using digital wallets compared to 7.0% last year.

Similar to previous years, convenience (53.2%) continues to be the key driver for mobile shopping, followed by the growing availability of apps (33.8%) that make it easy to shop and the ability to shop on the go (28.4%).

Regarding their mobile shopping habits, 48.6% of local respondents said they had downloaded a shopping app on a mobile phone in the last six months, and the most popular items bought via mobile shopping include clothing and other fashion accessories (24.3%), movie tickets (21.9%) and toys and gifts (16.2%). Hotel accommodation (14.3%) and items from supermarkets (12.4%) also climbed up the list as some of the most common spending categories among local consumers.

Online Shopping                                            

The majority of Hongkongers (84.2%) made at least one purchase online in the past three months, and their average length of online shopping experience is 3.2 years. And 81.8% of local consumers planned to shop online in the next six months.

The survey also revealed consumers’ attitudes towards online shopping – while 73.0% of local respondents perceive online shopping as convenient, 68.4% tend to go to the same sites again and 66.0% regard online shopping as a fun way to pass time.

In terms of the most common spending categories online, clothing/ accessories (42.3%) continues to top the list, followed by travel (40.8%) and supermarkets (38.4%).

When asked about the major improvement area for online shopping, more than half of the respondents (54.4%) expressed that one should be assured that transactions are secure.

Anna Yip, head of Hong Kong and Macau, MasterCard, said, “While Hongkongers cited convenience as the top motivating factor for mobile and online shopping, we also understand that security of payment facility remains a key consideration.”

“As a global leader in the payment industry, MasterCard is devoted to delivering a seamless, faster and safer online shopping experience for consumers. Last year, for example, we worked with local issuers and merchants to introduce MasterPass in Hong Kong, addressing local shoppers’ demand for speed, ease and convenience with this one-stop secure online payment platform.”

Mobile and Online Shopping in Asia/Pacific 

In terms of online shopping, China continues to lead the Asia Pacific region as in previous years, with almost every respondent (97%) having shopped online at least once in the previous three months. However, when it comes to mobile shopping, India surpassed China (76.1%) for the first time, with 76.4% of respondents indicating that they had made a purchase through their smartphones.

Overall, consumers in Asia Pacific are embracing new payment technologies with one in five (19.5%) using digital wallets, a two-fold increase from two years ago (9.7%). Emerging markets are leading the way with smartphone users in China (45.0%), India (36.7%) and Singapore (23.3%) being the region biggest adopters of digital wallets.

The survey, which serves as a benchmark that measures consumers’ propensity to shop online, took place between November and December 2015 with 8,500 respondents aged 18-64 across 14 markets in Asia Pacific. The report for Hong Kong is based on 500 respondents who access the internet at least once a week. The survey and its accompanying reports do not represent MasterCard’s financial performance.

% of respondents who have made at least one online purchase in the past three months in Asia/Pacific % of respondents who have made a purchase using a mobile phone in the past three months in Asia/Pacific
  Market %
1 China 97.0
2 India 96.6
3 Korea 95.8
4 Japan 94.3
5 Singapore 93.9
6 Taiwan 90.7
7 Vietnam 90.6
8 Australia 87.4
9 Hong Kong 84.2
10 Indonesia 83.3
11 Thailand 82.6
12 Philippines 81.4
13 Malaysia 81.0
14 New Zealand 80.6
  Market %
1 India 76.4
2 China 76.1
3 Korea 62.0
4 Thailand 61.1
5 Indonesia 55.5
6 Vietnam 51.7
7 Singapore 48.5
8 Taiwan 46.6
9 Malaysia 45.5
10 Hong Kong 42.9
11 Philippines 40.9
12 Japan 31.3
13 Australia 23.7
14 New Zealand 16.2

MasterCard and its Suite of Research Properties

The MasterCard Index suite in Asia Pacific includes the long-running MasterCard Index of Consumer Confidence, as well as the MasterCard Index of Women’s Advancement, MasterCard Index of Financial Literacy, and the MasterCard Index of Global Destination Cities. In addition to the indices, MasterCard’s research properties also include a range of consumer surveys including  Online Shopping, Ethical Spending and a series on Consumer Purchasing Priorities (covering Travel, Dining & Entertainment, Education, Money Management, Luxury and General Shopping).

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