The Mobile Consumer Tracking Survey 2015 found that overall, loyalty to a certain carrier is most strongly influenced by call or communication quality and the scope of coverage areas. Markets covered include China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, India, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam and the Philippines.
Individual markets have specific, varying criteria when evaluating the companies they use, however. People in Vietnam and especially China look for a wide variety of roaming plans (a weighted average of 2.418 and 3.737, respectively, on the study’s carrier service evaluation index). Those in Thailand and Malaysia put emphasis on good after-sales service (2.762 and 2.736, respectively). And in Taiwan and the Philippines, people look for speed in providing new services (3.009 and 2.059, respectively).
Regionally, new services were less of a priority, with a weighted average of 0.895 on the study’s carrier service evaluation index. Somewhat more important were the service being cheap to use (0.984) and offering a contract plan suited to individual demands (1.038).
Keita Yamada, a spokesperson for Dentsu Media, outlined the four elements that play a critical role in consumer perception of mobile brands as “popularity, quality of service, reasonability (value for money) and social connectivity”.
“Dentsu Media’s studies [have] found popularity and quality of service to be inextricably linked, as both give users a sense of assurance and connectedness,” Yamada said. “Given the nature of the carrier business is to connect users, these two attributes play an important role when deciding whether to stay with a particular network or move elsewhere.”
The study found that on average, 5.4 per cent of contacts are under consideration for switching to a different carrier (150 million out of 2.8 billion in the surveyed markets). The rate is highest in Hong Kong (7.9 per cent), followed by India (7.2 per cent) and Taiwan (6.4 per cent). The rate was lowest in the Philippines at just 2.5 per cent.
But Yamada added that “reasonability was the key driver behind customers moving to other carriers” and noted the importance of presenting “the perception of ubiquitous connectivity through various OTT service tools, including apps, SMS, online video viewing, online shopping and other such features”. These factors “also stand to retain and attract new users, particularly among younger demographics,” he said.
“Merely providing a service where users can talk to one another vocally or in text is not enough to satisfy cusomers,” Yamada concluded. “Carriers that are able to demonstrate that they can play a central role in meeting diversified needs through an array of communication tools and services stand to gain most in today’s battle for customers in Asia-Pacific.”
In terms of smartphone usage, the report cites a figure of 96 per cent overall (99 per cent in China), with 28 per cent using two or more smartphones. More than 20 per cent of consumers in their 20s use two or more, the study found.
While a total of 58 per cent regularly use messaging apps, usage was found to be highest in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia and Taiwan. 45 per cent use their mobile devices to watch online videos, 26 per cent to watch or record TV programmes, and 36 per cent to play online games. Dentsu Media noted that mobile gaming is increasing and that in Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines, more than 50 per cent of males in their 20s use online gaming services.
Online shopping via mobile was also found to be relatively high at 47 per cent overall, rising to 50 per cent in China. The most popular items purchased include clothes, shoes, accessories, cosmetics, beauty products, home appliances and digital products. Purchases of cosmetics and beauty products are especially high in India and Indonesia, where more than 70 per cent of female consumers use their mobile devices to buy them.
The survey ran online from May to June 2015 and canvassed a total of 4,200 people aged 20 to 49. In China, it covered first, second and third-tier cities, and Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore and Kolkata in India.