Online shopping: APAC millennials lead the pack
By Benjamin Cher July 15, 2016
- Edges out the rest of world 79% to 73%, Singapore leads in cross-border buys
- One in three online shopping transactions in APAC made on a mobile device
ONLINE shopping is on the rise in Asia Pacific, and millennials (the 18- to 34-year-olds) have gladly jumped on the bandwagon.
In fact, according to a survey commissioned by online payment giant PayPal Inc, the region’s millennials lead the world, with 79% of them having shopped online in 2015, compared with the global average of 73%.
The Asia Pacific countries covered in the survey were Australia, China, India, Japan, Singapore, and South Korea. The other regions covered were North America; Central and South America; and Europe/ Middle East/ Africa (EMEA).
Asia Pacific millennials were less hesitant about shopping online, latching on to its choice and convenience, while “a lot of the paranoia around security … is going away,” said PayPal’s South-East Asia general manager Rahul Shinghal.
“[Asia Pacific millennial’s] are embracing these experiences like never before,” he told a media briefing on the survey results in Singapore.
In this region itself, China and India’s millennials were tied at the No 1 spot with 82% of them having shopped online last year, followed by Singapore in third place with 80%.
But when it comes to cross-border shopping, Singapore dominated the region with 69% of its millennials having shopped online across borders. 65% of Singapore millennials transacted in a foreign currency and 33% bought from a website in a foreign language.
Asia Pacific in fact lagged behind the other regions in this regard, with only 37% its millennials having shopped internationally, compared with leaders Central and South America (55%) versus the global average of 47%.
“A few years ago, cross-border shopping mainly involved physical products, but what has changed is that a lot of millennials are buying intangible services [such as tickets for events and travel],” said Rahul (pic).
In terms of such services, 58% of Singapore millennials spent their money on travel, 54% on event tickets, and 40% on digital entertainment.
As expected, Asia Pacific also led the pack when it came to mobile shopping: Nearly one in three (39%) transactions in the region was made via a mobile device; compared with the global average of 20%.
“This data reiterates the fact that more and more people are buying on mobile devices,” said Rahul.
READ ALSO: In APAC, the Internet is almost completely mobile: GfK study
The top two factors driving cross-border shopping in Asia Pacific are free shipping and a safe way to pay, according to the survey.
In Singapore itself, free shipping was cited as the top driver at 69%; the ability to purchase hard-to-find items ranked second at 52%; fast delivery and lower shopping cost tied at 49%; and a safe way to pay ranked last at 47% (click infographic below to view in full).
The survey, conducted by Ipsos on behalf of PayPal, also looked in what factors millennials considered when choosing their payment options.
No 1 was convenience (Asia Pacific 41%, Singapore 43%); followed by fast processing (Asia Pacific 35%, Singapore 42%); secure payment (Asia Pacific 41%, Singapore 39%), trusted brand (Asia Pacific 32%, Singapore 39%); and accepted by most retailers (Asia Pacific 39%, Singapore 31%).
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