43% of HK consumers shop on smartphones

Eden Estopace
Enterprise Innovation

Mobile shopping has taken hold in Hong Kong, with more than two in five consumers making purchases via their mobile device in the past three months, the latest MasterCard Online Shopping Survey reveals.

The widespread use (98.8%) of internet-enabled smartphones in the city has set the backdrop for more and more Hong Kong consumers (42.9%) choosing to engage in mobile shopping, 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% 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 that make it easy to shop (33.8%) and the ability to shop on the go (28.4%).

Almost half (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.

The majority of Hong Kong consumers (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.

But over three quarters (77.8%) regarded security of payment facility as a key consideration when shopping online.

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

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

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%), India (36.7%) and Singapore (23.3%) being the region's biggest adopters of digital wallets.

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.

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