Web habits set to change in APAC

09 August 2012

SINGAPORE: Consumers in Asia Pacific still conduct over 90% of their online activity through personal computers, but mobile phones and tablets are set to play an increasingly central role, a study has argued.

Adobe, the software and services provider, tracked 2.5m visits to the websites of over 125 companies in the retail, media, finance and travel sectors, and found PCs yielded 93.4% of traffic on average.

This total hit 98% in Mainland China and South Korea, and reached 94% across Australia and New Zealand, and in the Southeast Asian nations featured. Scores on this measure fell to their lowest in Japan, with 84%.

Phones were responsible for an additional 4.8% of activity, surging to 14% for Japan and 8% for Singapore. Mainland China logged just 1% here, trailing South Korea and India on 2%.

Tablets generated approximately 2% of visits, but this figure dipped below 1% in Mainland China and South Korea, and came in at a similar level in India. Singapore and Hong Kong led the charts, on 3%.

"Increases in mobile internet browsing in APAC and heavy reliance on mobile search will cause brands to rely more on search optimization for driving mobile traffic than for traffic on PCs," the study predicted.

When assessing the position of search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing, the analysis reported they were the source of 31% of website hits via tablets, 28% through phones and 25% for PCs.

"Search is a more popular navigational tool on mobile devices, likely due to the small keyboards and on-the-go accessibility, which create more occasions to use search," the study said.

Google supplied 57.5% of local search traffic on PCs and 71% for phones and tablets. Baidu secured 82% and 59% on these metrics respectively in China, while Naver posted over 70% in both areas in South Korea.

"The primary driver of Google's dominant market share is ... its position as the default search engine on competing smartphones," the study said. "There is no direct correlation between Android's market penetration and Google's mobile search share within a given geography."

Yahoo's strongest performance was in Japan, with 58% of the computer market and 35% on wireless gadgets. Bing's best PC returns were in Australia and New Zealand on 7%. China took this role for mobile on 1%.

In terms of mobile "bounce rates", or the number of visitors who leave after viewing only one webpage, Bing had the joint lowest score with Naver, on 29%, versus Google's 37%, Yahoo's 36% and Baidu's 34%.

Data sourced from Adobe; additional content by Warc staff