As of 2016, Asia-Pacific had the highest number of mobile Internet connections, smartphone users and the highest rate of mobile shopper penetration worldwide, according to the Asia-Pacific M-Commerce 2017 report by international market research company Research and Markets.
This makes the region the global leader in m-commerce as close to half of Internet users here made mobile purchases, almost a double-digit percentage over the global average. Nevertheless, there is room for growth especially as online purchasing via messaging apps becomes more popular.
China leads both Asia-Pacific and the world in mobile shopper penetration. The report underlines how over three-quarters of online shoppers in China have a minimum of one mobile shopping app, the most popular being Taobao, Tmall and JD.com.
South Korea is also a top mobile shopping player where m-commerce exceeded 50% of online retail sales over the last year, stemming from a nearly 100% smartphone penetration rate in specific age groups. The report also noted India has long overcome this milestone, with mobile shopping also being a future potential interest for over half of non-mobile buyers.
Following the same trend, the South-east Asian countries of Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines already utilise mobile devices to access the Internet and make purchases. Indonesia is a prime example where almost all Internet users are connected to the Internet through a mobile device. Additionally, two in three consumers there who completed digital purchases used smartphones to do so in 2016.