HONG KONG: Email is still the leading channel for purchase conversion in Asia, according to a new report.

A study from eTailAsia and Experian, Digital Consumer View 2015 – Asia, has revealed that shoppers across the region are more responsive to email marketing than other digital channels, including social media, brand apps, SMS or chat apps.

Hong Kong was the most engaged, with 70% of respondents there having purchased a product featured in an email. The rates remained high across the region, with 67% of Indonesians, 64% of Chinese, and 62% of Thais also shopping from email communications. Brands appeared to have picked up on this with 74% of respondents across the region now receiving personalized marketing emails.

Smart, well-timed content is key to engaging customers, with 52% of respondents citing the "sheer volume" of emails cited as the most common reason for unsubscribing, with irrelevant content as runner up.

Social media drove the second largest number of purchase conversions.

Shoppers in South East Asia's developing markets were more likely to purchase after seeing a product featured on their social media – more than half of the respondents made a purchase after receiving promotional content on social media.

Uptake rates were between 62% and 65% in Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand. As consumers in developing markets gain more disposable income, they want to buy exciting new products but often face a lack of local availability, pushing customers online to purchase via social media.

In comparison, in Singapore where many big brands have physical stores, just 39% of shoppers had purchased via social media.

Conversions from SMS-based marketing and branded apps remained low across the region, except for China.

Data sourced from Experian; additional content by Warc staff