SAP’s new report underscores the huge potential for Asia Pacific’s mobile transactions with 84 per cent of regional respondents expressing an appetite for buying goods and services over mobile phones. Compare that to 82 per cent globally. Half have never used mobile transactions but would like to in the future. Only 14 per cent of those who used mobiles for purchases previously do not expect to use the method in the future.
With 77 per cent of regional users agreeing that organisations should use any available technology to make life easier for customers, the opportunity for brands is clear. And with this number marginally below the global average of 80 per cent, there’s room to grow.
SAP commissioned independent research agency Loudhouse in London to study the global differences in mobile ownership, appetite and behaviour. Within Asia, the study involved 3,288 online interviews with adults aged 18 and over who own a mobile phone in China, India, Australia and Japan. And it highlights varying maturity levels in each market as well as distinctions in mobile ownership, appetite and behaviour.
Asia-Pacific users turn to their mobile devices more throughout the day than the global norm. As with all regions, making or receiving calls is the most popular activity at 79 per cent. This number is particularly high in India (95 per cent) and China (91 per cent). Sending and receiving text messages was next at 69 per cent, and just over half or 55 per cent said they use mobile phones on a daily basis for general internet access or to check email.
While the region’s daily mobile purchases and banking come in just above the global level, APAC users are much more likely than the global average to use their mobile moderately (a few times a week or monthly). The regional banking average is 37 per cent, with India and China leading, versus a global average of 29 per cent.
While online (70 per cent) and in-store (73 per cent) are the main ways respondents purchased goods and services in the past 12 months, Asia-Pacific users are looking to other channels. Mobile-internet purchases stood at 36 per cent, followed by downloadable applications (24 per cent) and SMS (19 per cent), all above the global average.
However, there are some challenges for regional users when they communicate and transact with organisations via their mobile. The hassle of entering a lot of personal information was the key issue 45 per cent of users cited. People also had concerns about security with mobile purchases (41 per cent), and 39 per cent faced a lack of internet access at the time of a transaction. These numbers were a bit lower than the global average.
Whether a market is mature or emerging made for slightly different pictures. Safety is more important in the mature markets of Australia (43 per cent) and Japan (37 per cent), while the hassle of entering information is more of a deterrent for users in India (48 per cent) and China (54 per cent).
India and China’s emerging markets show enthusiasm for a faster pace of change and adoption of more sophisticated transactions over mobile devices. In contrast, the more mature markets of Australia and Japan appear to have greater reticence.
About two-thirds (68 per cent) of Asia-Pacific users said that compared to 12 months ago, they use their mobile phone for more activities beyond making calls and texting, which is above the global average of 63 per cent. The emerging markets of India (80 per cent) and China (86 per cent) were the main drivers. People in these countries are more enthusiastic about adopting new ways to use their mobile when compared to the mature markets of Australia (47 per cent) and Japan (37 per cent).
Chinese users have adopted their mobile device for groceries (61 per cent) and clothes (61 per cent). Some even pay telecom bills (61 per cent) via their phone. Indian users are almost equal in their enthusiasm and are the most likely to purchase tickets for travel (62 per cent), buy entertainment (54 per cent) or pay telecoms bills (51 per cent).
The more mature markets of Japan and Australia generally show more restraint in their mobile-transaction adoption. Yet there are some activities they feel more comfortable with. Japanese users are likely to buy groceries (40 per cent), purchase both print and e-books (39 per cent) or buy clothes and other attire (27 per cent) with their mobile. Australian users mainly buy entertainment (36 per cent) and print or e-books (29 per cent).