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Retail caught off guard by fast dominance of mobile: MMA APAC survey

AvantiKumar | July 23, 2014
BuzzCity's Asia Pacific survey, commissioned by the Mobile Marketing Association, also finds that Malaysia has the highest number of mobile shoppers.

Rohit_MMA modified 

Photo - Rohit Dadwal, Managing Director (APAC) at MMA.


BuzzCity's MMA-commissioned Asia Pacific survey points to many retailers being caught off guard by the fast-growing dominance of mobile as an ecommerce channel, which also includes the finding that Malaysia has the highest number of mobile shoppers in the region.

Rohit Dadwal, Mobile Marketing Association [MMA] APAC managing director said the survey revealed the changing trends in online shopping as 'more people than ever before are shopping online and on their mobile devices.'

Nearly half of mobile users (48 percent) made purchases online regularly. In addition nearly 1 in 5 browse products online before buying in stores. Taken together, more than 70 percent of mobile consumers shop online, said Dadwal, adding that mobile as a shopping channel as now on a par with PCs and a key to driving the change in consumer shopping behaviour.

He said in some countries mobile has already become the most dominant shopping channel. In the Asia Pacific region, mobile leads the way for shopping, as more of the population were turning to mobile as their primary device.

A third (32 percent) shop with their mobiles compared to a fifth (21 percent) with PC's in the region, said Dadwal. Further growth in mobile was expected as nearly one in three (30 percent) of those surveyed said that they would consider using their mobiles for shopping.

The survey revealed that Malaysia has the highest number (42 percent) of mobile shopper, he said.  "Mobile as a channel has evolved very quickly but the challenge for marketers is to create a seamless shopping experience across all the channels to ensure that consumers are getting a consistent brand message and identity."

Explosive rise of mobile

Dadwal said the "the explosive rise of mobile as a shopping channel appears to have caught many retailers off guard. The survey records that more people are leaving stores without making a purchase for a variety of reasons. At least 22 percent left stores for a better deal online compared to 13 percent last year and 27 percent could not find what they wanted in stores compared to 14 percent in 2013.

Overall, fewer customers are engaging with shop assistants and consequently not making it to the tills, which should signal strong alarm bells for retailers, he said.

Zurin Wok Nordin, mobile advertising network BuzzCity's country manager for Malaysia, said, "We know that consumers are driven by mobile in the first instance, but mobile first shouldn't mean mobile only for retailers".

"Consumers are changing the way they choose their purchases - it has become more complex and will continue to evolve," said Zurin. "The survey highlights mobile's potential to undermine traditional brand power and the imperative for marketers to maintain the relevance of their message across all digital media."

Conducted in April and May 2014, the survey of 3590 respondents from 26 countries included 11 Asia Pacific markets. Results have been published in the BuzzCity Report Volume 4 Issue 3


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