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In Urban Asia, Smartphones Dominate Ecommerce

Among four cities, just one featured more buying from desktops and laptops

October 25, 2016

Digital buyers in urban areas in Asia-Pacific are much more likely to use smartphones to make digital purchases than any other device, according to April 2016 polling. In Delhi, India, for example, nearly 100% of those surveyed said they bought via smartphone, while less than 20% had used a desktop or laptop.

Devices Used by Digital Buyers in Select Cities in Asia-Pacific to Make Digital Purchases, April 2016 (% of respondents)

Research firm Intage Group surveyed digital buyers who had made a digital purchase in the past six months in four Asian cities about their device usage habits.

About 80% of digital buyers in Jakarta, Indonesia and Bangkok, Thailand had made a digital purchase via a smartphone, far more than had done so via desktop or laptop PC or tablet. Still, respondents in these two cities did use other devices more often than in Delhi: In Jakarta, 23% said they used a desktop or laptop computer, and about 15% used a tablet.

Meanwhile, in Bangkok, around 40% used desktop and laptop computers and tablets.

And in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, more respondents said they used a computer than any other type of device to make a digital purchase. Although more than half said they used a smartphone to do the same—and nearly 30% said they bought digitally via a tablet—it’s clear that in Vietnam’s largest city, computers are the dominant digital buying device.

Preferred Device/Platform for Digital Shopping According to Smartphone Users in India, by Demographic, March 2016 (% of respondents)

With near totality in mobile buying in India, it’s helpful to see how these buyers like to shop. According to a March 2016 survey from EY, male smartphone users in India prefer to use an app more than their female counterparts.

And while women in India do prefer to use an app to a mobile browser, the gap between the two is much smaller than the male platform gap.

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