In its fourth edition in 2018, the IPC Cross-Border E-Commerce Shopper Survey has been significantly extended, in order to further understand habits of online consumers in Southeast Asia. In addition to China, South Korea and India, the following Asian countries were included this year: Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. This year’s survey highlights major differences between online shopping behaviour in Asia compared all countries surveyed in the 2018 IPC Shopper Survey. The Asian e-commerce market is noticeably more developed than the overall average of the countries the IPC Shopper Survey looked at. Asian consumers are younger and more demanding than their counterparts in Europe and the Americas.

Mobile shopping and evening/weekend deliveries are the norm in Asia

Smartphones are the preferred method for online shopping (52% in Asia vs. 33% at total average level). Preference for m-commerce is highest in Thailand (67%) and Indonesia (66%).

Consumer preferences are also quite different in Asian markets compared to the overall average. Credit card is the dominant e-commerce payment method in Japan and South Korea, while cash on delivery is still prevalent in certain Asian markets – especially the Philippines. Three out of ten consumers in Asia indicated that delivery in the evening or weekend was very important to them. Weekend delivery was less of a preference in other regions, with one out of ten Europeans indicating that it was important. The survey also found that 15% of cross-border online shoppers preferred workplace delivery, with 68% preferring home delivery. In Asia, 29% had used delivery to a workplace in the past year. 

Asian online consumers spend more online 

Asian consumers were most likely to purchase cross-border from China and the US, followed by Japan, South Korea and Australia, while the total average shows China, the US and the UK as the top three. Within Asia, cross-border e-commerce was dominated by three e-retailers: Amazon, Alibaba / AliExpress and Lazada.

When looking at all countries surveyed, cross-border online purchases are dominated by cheap, lightweight items from China. In Asia, cross-border online shoppers buy slightly heavier and more expensive items than the overall average: 37% of Asian purchases weighed up to 0.5 kg, compared to 50% at total level. 26% of Asian purchases cost up to €25, compared to 40% at total level.

With over 33,500 consumers in 41 different countries across North & South America, Asia Pacific, Europe and the Middle East, the IPC Cross-Border E-Commerce Shopper Survey established itself as the largest-ever global consumer survey, focusing on cross-border e-commerce.

To download the key findings from the research and find out more on the countries surveyed, go to www.ipc.be/shopper.