SINGAPORE: Nearly half (49.5%) of mobile consumers across Asia Pacific cite convenience as the most compelling reason for shopping on their smartphones, a new survey has revealed.

On-the-move mobility (43.9%) and the growing availability of apps that make it easy to shop online (39.5%) are also important motivators, according to a regional survey of 7,000 consumers by MasterCard, the financial payments group.

The results are based on interviews that took place between October and December 2014, with a minimum of 500 adults in each of the 14 markets surveyed.

Overall, consumers from China (70.1%), India (62.9%) and Taiwan (62.6%) are the most likely to shop using their smartphones.

Perhaps surprisingly, mobile consumers in some of the most advanced economies in the region are less inclined to shop this way.

Only 36.7% of respondents in Singapore made a purchase using a smartphone last year and the proportion drops further in New Zealand (20.7%) and Australia (19.6%).

For Asia Pacific mobile shoppers, the most popular categories are clothing and fashion accessories (27.9%), mobile apps (21.2%) and coupons from deal sites (19.2%).

Approaching half (44.5%) of the respondents say they have conducted price comparisons between online and physical store retailers while a similar proportion (44.2%) have carried out research online prior to making a purchase in-store.

Elsewhere, the survey found that India and Taiwan are leading the region in terms of the biggest growth in mobile shopping.

The proportion of Indians reporting that they have made a purchase using a smartphone grew to 62.9% last year from 30.3% in 2012 while in Taiwan the proportion has grown from 28.2% just three years ago to 62.6% in 2014.

Malaysia also recorded significant growth, up from 25.4% in 2012 to 45.6% in 2014.

"What consumers value the most are convenience, on-the-go mobility and ease of use," said Deborah Heng, group head and general manager at MasterCard Singapore.

"Traditional brick-and-mortar retailers seeking to expand online would be well-placed to capture the ecommerce pie if they develop an online interface optimised for both desktop and mobile.

"This ensures a seamless online shopping experience from browsing to payments, so that shoppers do not abandon their shopping cart due to difficulties at checkout such as page loading errors and difficulties in making payment."

Data sourced from MasterCard; additional content by Warc staff