Mobile Devices Are Primary Gateway to the Internet in APAC Reports Research Firm GFK

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According to market research firm Gfk, mobile devices have become consumers’ primary gateway to the internet across Asia Pacific, reports Digital News Asia.

Accessing the internet via smartphone has become a daily activity for 83% of online users in the region, led by China (93%), followed by Thailand (89%), Indonesia (88%), Singapore (87%) and Vietnam (81%) – Gfk Report

In a report titled ‘ The Connected Asian Consumer’, Gfk ran a study in May this year with over 8,000 smartphone owners across eight Asia Pacific markets. The survey covered China, Japan, India, Australia, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam.

A Reliance On Messaging Apps

Messaging apps are becoming remote controls for day-to-day living, used more than any app across most Asian countries.

Indonesia, India and Singapore are leaders in messaging apps use. Over 80% of users in these countries say they use it at least once a week.

A higher proportion of connected consumers actually text more than they talk on smartphone. Only in China where approximately 60% prefer to talk as much as they text. It’s no wonder popular messaging app, Line, is currently debuting on the New York Stock Exchange at $9.5 billion under LN. It is shaping up to be this year’s largest technology IPO.

Social Media Use

Social media was initially used as means for social networking. However that model has evolved into being utilized by brands and businesses to engage potential and loyal customers, social media is now a key tool in driving the business agenda.

86% of Indonesians and 81% of Thais use social media on a weekly basis.

Social media use for ecommerce is also gaining significant traction. Consumers in Singapore and Indonesia report fairly high usage of social media for ecommerce, with 37% and 35% of users doing so weekly.

In bigger mobile markets such as India and China, online shopping is on the way to disrupt offline retail. Mobile payment is another area likely to encourage growth of online shopping.

A significant percentage of connected consumers in India (72%) and Indonesia (60%) agree that using the phone to transact money is easier than sending cash, as online payment has become very secure.

This report confirms the consumer purchase journey is no longer linear, as consumers are shopping in various of ways. Brands need to be available at every touch point, integrating online and offline experiences in order to cater to the multi-channel consumer.

A  version of this appeared in Digital News Asia on July 14. Read the full version here.