Free Subscription

  • Access 15 free news articles each month


Try one month for $5
  • Unlimited access to news,insights and opinions
  • Quarterly and weekly magazines
  • Independent research reports and forecasts
  • Quarterly webinars with industry experts
  • Q&A with retail leaders
  • Career advice
  • Exclusive Masterclass access. Part of Retail Week 2021

Online shopping – we’re (almost) all doing it

Nine out of 10 consumers have made an online purchase in the past year, according to Visa-sponsored research.

The Visa e-Commerce Consumer Monitor 2012, in collaboration with TNS, expects online shopping to continue to grow.

The study found that 92 per cent of 8000 consumers surveyed in eight countries across Asia Pacific, Central Europe and Africa indicate that they are likely to make purchases via the internet in the next year.

The impact of online shopping goes beyond virtual payments, as online browsing is highlighted as an essential part of both the online and offline purchase cycle.

Ninety eight per cent of respondents say they have browsed online for products or services in the past year prior to purchase.

Increasing one’s understanding of a product, exploring and selecting product options and deciding on a purchase location are cited as top reasons for online browsing.

Physical books, CDs, DVDs, fashion and groceries are listed as the top most browsed and transacted product categories in the past year.

“In today’s highly-connected world, online browsing has become an essential part of the overall shopping experience.

Despite the varying levels of internet use and connectivity across the world, we’ve found that online browsing is a common activity among all consumers – be it for online or offline purchases,” said Paul Jung, Visa’s head of e-commerce solutions for Asia Pacific, Central Europe, Middle East and Africa.

“With this trend sustaining momentum in the next year, there is an opportunity for merchants to enhance the online shopping experience for customers to drive both online and offline purchases,” added Jung.

The availability of new and varied internet access devices is a key factor enabling the shift towards online shopping.

Four in 10 consumers say they have browsed online for products or services via a mobile phone or tablet device in the last year.

In countries with higher mobile phone and tablet penetration, the trend is shifting towards device-based purchases.

Browsing on mobile phones exceeded 40 per cent in Korea, Hong Kong and Singapore. Hong Kong in particular saw 13 per cent of online purchases on mobile phones and 11 per cent on tablets.

“The prevalence of smartphones and tablets translates to easier online access for consumers to retailers anytime, anywhere, and we expect to see more people browsing and shopping on-the-go as a result,” said Jung.

“As more consumers shop on the internet, there is a greater need to make the online shopping experience more secure,” he said.

Improved consumer perception of online security has also been a key factor driving the increase in online shopping activity.

In countries with mature online shopping environments such as Japan, Hong Kong, Korea and Singapore, this perception is held by an average of seven out of 10 respondents.

Top reasons cited as contributing to more secure online transactions include online payment security features such as Verified by Visa and security around personal and financial information upheld by financial institutions and online merchants.

Credit cards were cited as the top method for online payments by 67 per cent of respondents with 61 per cent using a credit card for the last three online transactions.

While debit as an online payment option is secondary to credit at 19 per cent when it comes to payment cards, consumers tend to continue to use debit cards once they start, as they recognise the benefit of expense management.

The top reasons for debit card use online cited by respondents are that it provides them with access to their own funds to manage expenses and the growing confidence that debit card transactions are safe.


You have 7 free articles.

Masterclasses are for professionals only

Only $5 p/m for first 3 months
Become a Professional Already a professional? Login
  • Daily exclusive Members Only content straight to your inbox
  • Access to exclusive Retail Week events including all 4 Masterclasses 28 February - 3 March
  • Retail insights and intelligence
  • On-demand videos with industry professionals
  • Weekly careers advice specific to retailers
  • Independent research reports and forecasts
  • Q&A with industry experts
  • Content, content, content! Weekly and quarterly magazines