TOKYO: Nearly half (49.2%) of young consumers in Asia shop online at least once a week and greater ownership of credit cards is one of the factors driving the activity, according to a recent survey.

Nikkei, the Japanese financial publishers, conducted an online poll of 2,000 consumers aged in their 20s across ten major cities from late February to mid-March.

The results showed there has been a 5.7 percentage point increase in the number of young Asians who shop online each week since Nikkei's last study in November 2014.

On top of increased smartphone adoption, better internet connections and more convenient delivery options – developments covered in many surveys – Nikkei also found that 70.1% of respondents had at least one credit card, up 6 points since its previous survey.

Looking at individual countries, the report found that respondents in China were the most frequent online shoppers, with 68.6% of them doing so at least once a week.

It also established that young Chinese spent an average of 5.6 hours a day browsing the internet, while their counterparts the Philippines and Thailand spent more than eight hours online, or roughly double the 4.2 hours for Japanese users.

Meanwhile, according to the survey, two-thirds (66.7%) of respondents in Seoul said they shop online more than once a week, falling to about half of young consumers in Singapore.

A separate report released this week by Warc – Revolutionising Asia: 3 key trends in social media – outlined how social media has become a key purchase influencer in Asia.

Around 3,500 respondents aged 15 to 50-years-old indicated to researchers that social media ranked above store visits and TV advertising as a source of information for recent purchases, and that only friends, family and web searches ranked higher.

According to the study, Thailand stood out as the APAC country most engaged in social commerce, with 40% of social media users there having bought products or services via a social platform, but this dropped to less than 10% of social media users in Japan.

Data sourced from Nikkei; additional content by Warc staff