China embraces m-commerce

2 July 2013
HONG KONG: Chinese consumers are more likely to purchase products via their mobile phone than the global average, with shoppers in lower tier cities and younger age groups at the forefront of this trend, according to a new report.

Draftfcb China surveyed 8,000 adults in eight markets, including Brazil, China, Germany, India, the Middle East, South Africa, the UK and US, and discovered that 57% of Chinese respondents were prepared to buy items on a mobile phone, compared to the global average of 49%.

One of the main reasons for the greater uptake of mobile shopping among Chinese consumers was that brands were able to gain access to markets where they did not have a physical presence, particularly in lower tier cities.

At the same time, the digital-savvy Generation Y was an enthusiastic adopter of m-commerce.

"[T]he real revolution is taking place in the lower tier cities where marketers have traditionally appealed to consumers via traditional media channels and the internet either at home or in the office," Tiffan Pun, head of strategic planning at Draftfcb Greater China, explained to Campaign Asia-Pacific.

"Mobile devices are now being used to access product information at any time of the day and from anywhere, so people can more spontaneously look for products and compare prices, even though they cannot physically see or handle the brands," she added.

The study said that 67% of Chinese consumers looking at products on a mobile were as satisfied as if they had been in-store, while 77% felt that the process saved them from the irritation of having to deal with in-store sales staff.

Favourable online reviews were an important factor in the purchasing decision for 84% of respondents, while convenience was ultimately more important than price.

Data sourced from Campaign Asia-Pacific; additional content by Warc staff
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