Rapid digital adoption drives growth of e-commerce in APAC

New study from Checkout.com, the world’s leading provider of cloud-based payment solutions, finds 95% of consumers in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region have purchased online or used an app more than twice in 2020 The majority of them have spent more money online since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, and more than 88% plan to maintain or increase their spending at higher levels. This has led to the observation that APAC has experienced an “e-commerce bull run” since the start of the global pandemic.

These findings are part of Checkout.com’s Payments Optimization Report in APAC, a comprehensive look at how payments and e-commerce innovation are rapidly spreading across the region, revolutionizing the way consumers are shopping and setting the standard to follow for other geographies.

The research, conducted by Checkout.com in partnership with YouGov, is the result of an in-depth study of more than 12,000 consumers across APAC, including China, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, l ‘Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore and Hong Kong.

The report further reveals that China is setting the global bar as a leader in payments from super apps to integrated finance and as the Chinese market matures, the region at large, and Southeast Asia in particular. , will increasingly become key centers of innovation and adoption.

To take the bull by the horns and maximize the opportunities that would open up, APAC traders need to consider a number of critical factors.

– Location is particularly crucial. The significant regional and demographic differences between APAC countries underscore the need for merchants to focus on localization when it comes to digital payments. Australia and Japan, for example, are more comparable, given their preference for cards over e-wallets and websites over mobile apps. Meanwhile, Indonesia and Thailand show a strong preference for e-wallets and cash, almost buy in-app only, and have a notable preference for social commerce fueled by a very active female consumer base.

Traders need to understand that the nuances of how consumers shop vary widely from country to country. Those who ignore these local trends do so at their own risk.

– Online shopping shows no signs of slowing down. When it comes to digital payments and e-commerce, the Asia-Pacific region is unrivaled. The Checkout.com study found that 95% of consumers in the Asia Pacific region shop online, 80% of which use some form of fintech app to manage their finances. On the flip side, the majority (54%) of APAC consumers said they are currently spending significantly more money online due to the pandemic. About 48% shop much more frequently, and 40% expect their online spending to increase further in 2021 and beyond the pandemic recovery. Of those surveyed, 53% said they regularly use an app to send or receive funds.

– Cross-border trade is increasing rapidly. The entire APAC region is a hotbed of cross-border activity in e-commerce. In particular, Indonesia and Thailand rely heavily on cross-border shopping as they look to countries like China, Japan and Singapore for products that are still not available to them domestically. In fact, Accenture research shows that over 40% of e-commerce in APAC is cross-border.

Surprisingly, there are exceptions for areas that go against the trend: around 14% of respondents in Hong Kong said they never buy online, compared to an APAC average of 5%. By comparison, 3% in Singapore said they never buy online.

– Mobile apps and digital finance empower women. In most of the countries studied, women were found to be the primary holders of digital purse strings, being significantly more likely to shop online every week or every day than their male counterparts. As a notable example in the region, Indonesia and Thailand are not only leading the way in fintech penetration and use of digital wallets, but also stand out in the level of digital financial activity carried out by the women.

For example, in Indonesia, where the use of remittance apps is widespread, Checkout.com found that 67% of single men use fintech for money transfer. This compares to 78% of single women, while 80% of the married population of both sexes use a money transfer app. Meanwhile, in China, Thailand and Indonesia, around 21% of women use fintech apps to increase their wealth through investment platforms.

– Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) drives growth trends. First appearing in 2020, the BNPL plan allows consumers to buy a good or service now without having to pay for it until a later date. It has proven to be a growth engine not only in APAC, but also in the world.

Research from Checkout.com indicates that the concept of BNPL is the primary reason consumers in the region choose to buy and pay online, especially among those under 30. In fact, almost a third (29%) of 18-30-year-olds in Indonesia and over a quarter (26%) in Thailand said BNPL was the main reason they buy online or through an app. .

Checkout.com empowers businesses to adapt, innovate and thrive with technology that makes payments transparent.

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