While online security remains a vital consideration for the region’s consumers, it hasn’t stopped them from holding back their wallets.
According to the latest Mastercard Online Shopping Survey, eight in 10 of consumers across Asia Pacific who have shopped online last year intend to make at least one online purchase in the first half of 2017, led by those in emerging markets including China (97.3 percent), Vietnam (96.2 percent), India (92.9 percent), Malaysia (92.8 percent) and Thailand (87.1 percent).
Findings from the study indicate that while one in two consumers in Asia Pacific feel secure shopping online, providing secure payment facilities (85.9 percent) remains the most critical to getting shoppers in the region to make such purchases, along with price (85.5 percent) and convenience (85.1 percent). This consideration resonates most strongly in Indonesia (95.3 percent), followed by the Philippines (92.2 percent), Taiwan (91.5 percent) and Malaysia (91.2 percent).
“The verdict is in - consumers across Asia Pacific want enhanced security and convenience when shopping online. Despite our research showing that the majority of consumers feel safe when shopping online, we cannot stop our relentless focus on developing solutions that address and erase underlying fears about the safety and security of payments across the board,” said Ben Gilbey, Senior Vice President, Digital Payments & and Labs, Asia Pacific, Mastercard.
“We know the payment experience consumers are looking for, no matter where they choose to shop. As a result, we will not relent on our commitment to work with merchants and key industry players to design, develop and deploy e-commerce experiences that are fast, easy, seamless and safe. Some of these include digital wallets and biometric payments, which are also reimagining and redefining the shopping experience for consumers.”
In Asia Pacific, nine in 10 consumers have made an online purchase in the three months preceding the survey, led by those in South Korea (96.7 percent), India (95.8 percent), Japan (95.0 percent), Vietnam (92.0 percent) and China (91.8 percent).
To drive the growth of e-commerce in the region, more can be done to improve the shopping experience with free or minimal delivery charges (62.9 percent), assurance that transactions are secure (45.9 percent) and reduction in friction in transaction processes (44.1 percent) topping the list of suggested improvements to online shopping by respondents.
A third of shoppers in Asia Pacific (37.3 percent) are getting their fashion fix online, with clothing and accessories retailers leading as the most-visited website category. This is followed by online supermarkets (37.3 percent), and app stores (36.9 percent).
Indonesian consumers are the most satisfied with existing opportunities and facilities for online shopping (97.1 percent) in the region. Consumer satisfaction also rings strongly in India (94.3 percent) and Malaysia (92.6 percent).
When choosing where to shop online, the majority of consumers in Asia Pacific rely on word of mouth recommendations from close family and friends (36.1 percent), followed by social networking sites (27.4 percent) and traditional and online media sources (17.5 percent). Conversely, in Thailand (52.4 percent vs. 15.1 percent), Malaysia (39.0 percent vs. 24.2 percent), Philippines (34.1 percent vs. 33.5 percent) and Indonesia (32.1 percent vs. 25.9 percent), consumers consider social networking sites more influential than word of mouth recommendations.
The year-end holiday season – with Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Singles’ Day, Christmas Day and Boxing Day sales – is the most popular time of the year for online shopping, with consumers in the region shopping most frequently in the months of December (22.1 percent), November (17.3 percent) and October (14.0 percent).
Safety and Security
A majority of consumers in Asia Pacific (53.9 percent) feel secure when shopping online. This sentiment is felt especially in India (72.1 percent), Indonesia (66.4 percent), China (63.5 percent), Australia (62.2 percent) and New Zealand (59.8 percent).
On the other hand, consumers in Vietnam (34.0 percent), South Korea (34.6 percent), Japan (36.6 percent) and Hong Kong (37.4 percent) are more wary of online shopping security.
Secure shopping is a collective effort. While Mastercard together with industry players are committed to engineering seamless payment experiences, consumers too can play a part in ensuring their own payment safety by following these online shopping tips:
- Shop only on sites with a “lock” in your browser’s URL bar – this icon indicates that a site is secure.
- To protect your confidential information from prying eyes, refrain from using public unsecured Wi-Fi to perform financial transactions
- Track your purchases by monitoring your account activity online and checking statements. Any suspicious or unfamiliar transactions should be reported to a bank immediately.
- Make sure your passwords are strong – at least eight characters and a combination of numbers and letters
- Don’t use the same password with different online shops OR to log into your email