There are distinct differences in the development of Internet usage and online retail in Tiger countries including South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan.
In South Korea, smartphones for the first time are used more often than notebooks to shop online. Besides mobile commerce, social commerce is also a growing trend in South Korean online retail, says researcher Research and Markets.
Meanwhile, more than half of all Internet users in Hong Kong conducted online purchases, with women shopping online more often than men, in 2012. Mobile commerce sales in Hong Kong are also expected to increase notably more between 2011 and 2015 than general B2C e-commerce sales.
In Singapore, B2C e-commerce sales are expected to increase by almost 50 per cent between 2011 and 2015. Travel reservations and entertainment tickets, followed by computer and game software as well as apparel, accessories, shoes and jewellery are the product categories most purchased online. Mobile online retail plays an increasingly large role in Singapore, as well.
While in Taiwan, the number of Internet users rises continuously, but more than half of them experienced problems with unstable connections and poor Internet quality in 2012. Slow download and upload speeds represented further difficulties during Internet usage in Taiwan.
The number of mobile Internet users is on the rise as well, but it is used by less than 10 per cent of users to conduct mobile online purchases. However, total online retail sales in Taiwan are projected to increase by a small double-digit percentage figure annually by 2015.