In the two weeks leading up to the Chinese New Year, eCommerce sales in Asia grew by 40 per cent with 25 per cent more consumers shopping online.
Three in 10 transactions were completed on a mobile device, according to performance marketing technology company Criteo in Hong Kong. Its findings are based on an analysis of 174 million online transactions in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan and Vietnam.
“Because of the traditional practice of wearing new clothes to symbolise a new beginning, consumers are doing a tremendous amount of online shopping two weeks before Chinese New Year,” says Criteo South-east Asia/Hong Kong/India/Taiwan MD Yuko Saito. “Based on 2015 data, sales on mobile devices in particular have hit record numbers.”
In its eCommerce Industry Outlook 2016, Criteo cites three trends impacting Asian shoppers during the Chinese New Year season…
Smartphone shopping will keep gaining ground: Smartphones are the first point of internet access or brand interaction for many consumers. In South-east Asia, Hong Kong, India and Taiwan, on aggregate, more than 45 per cent of online transactions are happening on mobile devices, compared to 29 per cent in the second quarter of last year. Indonesia was the highest at 56 per cent, followed by Singapore at 45 per cent.
Retailers will see a high web influence on their in-store sales: Most consumers are researching online before or while visiting a store. According to Google, 80 per cent of 10 shoppers use a smartphone inside the store to help them with product research and price comparisons. Criteo says retailers can acquire a better view of customer behaviour by connecting with them via branded apps or beacon technology, before matching each customer’s email ID with loyalty programs at in-store POS terminals.
Instant delivery services will become common: Order fulfilment will be a big focus for retailers this year, with many offering delivery options to match Amazon’s Prime Now service. Both online and “click-and-brick” retailers will be trying this strategy through specialised third-party eCommerce logistics providers. Faster delivery at lower charges will also drive growth of cross-border shopping.
“During special occasions like Chinese New Year, we observe instances of intensive, last-minute shopping, where consumers take less time to consider a purchase and require products to be delivered on short notice for personal use or gift-giving,” says Saito. “Taking a three pronged approach – engaging consumers on the mobile web or on mobile apps, leveraging consumers’ web-browsing data to deliver personalised in-store and mobile shopping experiences, and investing in instant delivery services will be crucial to increasing sales conversions.”