At this point, it is pretty much a given that smartphones are the first screen of choice for most connected consumers when it comes to their digital lives. Be it, consuming content or booking a cab or making a hotel reservation, world over, a smartphone is what people turn to. Even in Southeast Asia, according to a research report by Appier shows that mobile is the dominant screen among all multi-device users using up to three or more screens.
What's interesting to note however, is the way mobile is powering the growth of E-commerce across Southeast Asia. Findings from A Q42015 Criteo research estimate that 25% of all retail E-commerce transactions were carried out on mobile. Mobile accounted to 39% of all transactions for top quartile of retailers (ranked on basis of share of transactions). 73% of these transactions took place on smartphones while tablet devices accounted for the remaining 27%.
How has E-commerce steadily transformed into M-commerce in Southeast Asia? Granted that smartphone adoption is on the rise, and improving mobile data connectivity makes mobile the hot favorite among today's consumers. However, shopping many a times is an impulsive activity and in all likelihood, today consumers will have their smartphones closer to them than their desktops or laptops.
Easy access aside, the mobile ecosystem itself has become much more conducive to transactions on mobile and people are more comfortable and trusting today, when it comes to shopping online via smartphones. Criteo's research findings further suggest that apps are driving more transactions and value by removing barriers to purchase. 54% of all transactions on mobile have happened via apps.
The native environment of apps and additional control over the purchase path is helping retailers see higher conversion rate on their apps than both mobile web and desktop. Technologies such as deeplinking and retargeting on mobile are helping them drive greater and sustained customer engagement and transactions on their apps, with apps witnessing 120% more conversion rate than mobile web.
From a payment ecosystem perspective, a research by Mastercard suggests
that those people who shop via smartphones are showing increased uptake of newer mobile payment mechanisms such as digital wallets, pointing towards a rapidly advancing M-commerce ecosystem.
For E-commerce players in Southeast Asia, mobile offers growth prospects like never before. For marketers it's an opportunity to quickly tap into these consumers and engage them on medium that they have so come to fall in love with.