Online shopping in Asia-Pacific has been on the rise for several years, especially in emerging markets such as China and India. This trend has been accompanied by the expansion of the M-Commerce sector, whose share in the region is forecasted to increase from just above a quarter of the region’s market in 2014 to over 60% in 2019. Furthermore, M-Commerce often exhibits more dynamic growth than overall online retail, including in well-developed E-Commerce markets such as South Korea, where the triple-digit growth rate in 2014 significantly outpaced that of total E-Commerce, and even more so that of traditional retail sales.
The main drivers for increased mobile shopping penetration are higher smartphone and tablet ownership, as well as increased mobile broadband access, playing a major role both in countries with a significant rural population, such as India, where smartphone ownership increased to over 20% of mobile phone users, as well as island states, such as Indonesia and Singapore where mobile devices were used for Internet access by close to 90% of Internet users. Additionally, in E-Commerce markets that are in their early stages of development, such as Pakistan, mobile broadband subscriptions accounted for over three quarters of all Internet subscriptions, as of mid-2015, suggesting a high potential for M-Commerce development.
Furthermore, mobile devices and consumer electronics remain among the most popular product categories purchased online across Asia-Pacific, while increased competition spurs new entrants in the M-Commerce market, such as mobile messenger app LINE, which launched its online grocery services for the first time in Thailand in in early 2015. All of these trends indicate that mobile shopping is likely to further increase and lead E-Commerce growth in the region.
More information about this and other B2C E-Commerce trends in Asia-Pacific can be found in the report Asia-Pacific B2C E-Commerce Market 2015. A global overview of M-Commerce development is reviewed in the report Global M-Commerce Snapshot 2015: Smartphones and Tablets.