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In Indonesia, Digital Shoppers Start Their Journey on Desktops

But mobile devices still play an important role in completing transactions

April 12, 2017 | Retail & Ecommerce

Despite Indonesia’s status as a mobile-first market, most digital shoppers appear to be starting their path to purchase on desktops.

According to an analysis by Criteo derived from Q4 2016 data, two-thirds of shoppers browsing online were more likely to use a desktop before any other device, whereas close to one-third turned to smartphones for browsing potential purchases.

First Device Used to Browse for Digital Purchases in Indonesia, Q4 2016 (% of total)

At first glance, the initial preference for desktops might seem confusing in a market where the majority of first-time internet users are expected to go online via smartphone. eMarketer estimates there will be 67.1 million smartphone users in Indonesia by the end of this year.

However, PCs provide a distinct advantage to digital shoppers by offering more screen real estate during the early research phase of a purchase.

The use of desktops may also align with the digital shopping behaviors of white-collar professionals taking advantage of reliable and fast internet connections at their jobs. These shoppers are more likely to use work computers to surreptitiously browse for items.

That idea is bolstered by the fact that Criteo found most desktop purchases occurred between 9am and 5pm, neatly aligning with traditional office hours. At the same time, online purchases made via both smartphones and tablets climbed during the weekend—when office workers are typically not at their computers.

However, retailers ignore the mobile shopping experience at their own peril.

Criteo found that 37% of cross-device transactions completed on a smartphone began on a desktop PC. And only 21% of those cross-device transactions started on a smartphone ended on a desktop, indicating that more shoppers set out a shopping journey on a desktop but complete their transaction on a smartphone than the other way around.

The path to purchase is no longer a linear model, and retailers in Indonesia that can provide a multitude of touchpoints during a customer’s often nebular journey are likely to come out ahead.

—Rahul Chadha

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