Rising ownership of the three screens—personal computers, smartphones and media tablets in Hong Kong has made online shopping more convenient and accessible today. While personal computers are the most common platform used for online shopping with over 4 in 5 online shoppers said they have used either their laptop or desktop computer to make purchases; more than half used smartphones and 40 percent have done so using their media tablets. It is interesting to highlight that Gen Y adoption of smartphone for online shopping is highest.
“The number of online shoppers has grown by leaps and bounds from 218,000 in 2002 to 1,383,000 in 2012” said Walter Leung, Managing Director for GfK Hong Kong. “Intensifying migration to 3G / 4G LTE networks of smart mobile devices, added to the increasing adoption of larger screen sized smartphones which facilitate ease of usage have greatly fuelled the growth momentum of mobile commence, much to the delight of retailers and new start-ups.”
Among the top 10 online shopping categories, Clothing came out top, followed by Accessories, Shoes, Handbags, Facial Skincare Products, Books, Hotels, Flight tickets, and Electronic Products. While one third of the online shoppers spent around HKD200-499 during each transaction, mainly on clothing, accessories and shoes, over 80 percent of the total online purchases of local consumers are for items which cost below HK$1,000.
Magazines, official websites of companies and TV are the key sources which online shoppers turn to for information on their intended buys. GfK findings indicate a greater tendency for consumers these days to do more research activities before actually making their purchases. More than half the respondents (54%) used at least 3 platforms to do their research before actually making their online purchases with search engines, social media and discussion forums being the top three channels for obtaining word-of-mouth references and product information.
“To enter into e-tail business, a good e-commerce strategy is needed, but it is not the ticket to success,” stated Leung. “Marketers need to be more visionary and innovative to capitalize on the opportunity by optimizing all the influential touch points in the whole purchase journey and develop a holistic commerce strategy in the digital world,” concluded Leung.