Two of the top five smartphone savvy nations come from Asia, with Singapore and Korea leading the way. Meanwhile others in the region, including Malaysia, Taiwan and Hong Kong, are not far behind with the number – coming in at a 50% adoption rate, said a Google survey.
What is more unique to the region is that across Asia, many countries have higher smart phone adoption than computer adoption. This is true for Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia, Hong Kong, China and Korea. Asians also generally have more than one gadget to hand with 35% of Malaysians attesting to this trend.
Also 30-40% of Internet users in Malaysia go online while watching TV, and over 75% do it via a smartphone. Search is ubiquitous across devices with 76% of Malaysians searching for information at least once a month. Around 81% of shoppers in Asia conduct research online before purchasing goods and services. This is a trend that is picking up among smartphones users in Malaysia as well with 41% of Malaysians conducting their search online.
“Every Asian business needs to offer a great experience on mobile. It’s no longer a viable option to ignore the high percentage of consumers who are online on their smartphones. A great mobile site makes it easy for customers to navigate the site without having to pinch or zoom. Our research shows 88% of consumers in Singapore encounter some kind of problem when using mobile sites — so there’s clearly more work to be done here,” said Julian Persaud, managing director, Google, Southeast Asia.
Google’s study, The Consumer Barometer, also showed that in Malaysia over a third of users surveyed said a phone was their only device for going online. In Singapore, the figure is 16%, and in South Korea and Hong Kong, it’s 14%. Across devices people searching for everything from movie tickets, to flights and car insurance.
Here’s a quick breakdown:
Car insurance: Vietnam – 86%, Singapore – 56%, Malaysia – 58% versus US – 22%
Movie tickets: Vietnam 84%, Singapore – 71%, Malaysia – 88% versus US – 35%
Flights (leisure): Vietnam – 93%, Singapore -75%, Malaysia – 87% versus US – 60%
Hotels (same): Vietnam – 84%, Singapore – 83%, Malaysia – 91% versus US – 60%
Home appliances: Vietnam – 77%, Singapore 69%, Malaysia – 69% versus US – 60%
Persaud added that today businesses need to think and act in an integrated way.
“Businesses shouldn’t silo a web team in a department by themselves, instead they should incorporate the internet into every part of the business that makes sense. Businesses shouldn’t make a false distinction between e-commerce and in store sales, they should view it all as sales, and work to ensure that in store and online, the consumers have a consistent experience,” Persaud added.
The Consumer Barometer delivers global insights on consumers’ online behaviour. Working with TNS, Google conducted over 150,000 interviews across 56 countries to provide advertisers, agencies, journalists and academics with the most up-to-date digital insights.