SINGAPORE: Six in ten smartphone users across the APAC region have between two and five retail and shopping apps installed on their devices, according to research which also reports a high level of acceptance of in-app ads and likelihood to click through to purchase.

Ad tech firm Criteo surveyed more than 3,000 consumers across six Asia-Pacific countries – Australia, India, Indonesia, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand – to explore how they use retail and shopping apps.

It reported that over 90% of smartphone users were making a purchase at least once a month using a retail and shopping app, while 41% were shopping between two and five times a month.

Seven in ten said that they found it more enjoyable and convenient using a retail and shopping app than buying via mobile websites – indicating how crucial the user experience is.

A bad experience in a shopping app will give one in two shoppers a poor opinion of the retailer in five of the six countries surveyed.

Apart from security concerns, ease of use was the biggest barrier to purchasing via an app; if it’s not user friendly it will swiftly get dumped.

Shoppers in Indonesia and Taiwan were the most ruthless in this regard, with 43% and 39% of consumers respectively ditching apps that aren’t easy to use, while almost one in three (30%) Australians felt the same.

“The data suggests that many retailers rush apps to market to tick a box, but fail to develop a platform that meets shoppers’ needs in the process, ultimately creating a negative experience,” noted Pressy Sankaran, commercial director of Criteo ANZ.

“Time to test must be invested.”

The study had another significant finding for retailers, reporting that consumers have a much greater acceptance for in-app adverts and are more likely to click if the advert is displayed in a retail and shopping app.

Over 42% confirmed they had clicked on display ads and then gone on to purchase that product.

Sourced from Criteo, Marketing ; additional content by WARC staff