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Digital Entertainment Content and Travel Top Online Purchases in Asia Pacific

Travel News Asia Latest Travel News Podcasts Thursday, 20 November 2008

According to a Visa e-Commerce Tracking Survey, nearly 80% of internet users surveyed in Asia Pacific say they made an online transaction and spent an average of over US$3,000 each in the past 12 months.

In April and May 2008, Ipsos conducted 3,054 online interviews on behalf of Visa with internet users (those who access the internet at least once a week) aged 18 to 49 years from six countries and territories (Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Korea, Australia and India) in an effort to measure their online usage behaviors.

The top three draws for shopping online were being able to shop at any time (88%), at the best prices (83%), and being able to shop easily (82%). According to the respondents, their most commonly made online purchases were digital entertainment (59%), travel (51%) and fashion (49%).

Among the wide range of products and services available on the internet, Asia Pacific online shoppers surveyed reported that they spent the most on travel services with an average spending of US$812 in the last 12 months. Travel items included airline and rail tickets, hotel accommodation and travel packages.

Mohamad Hafidz, regional head, e-Commerce, Asia Pacific, Visa, said, Nearly a quarter of the world's population roughly 1.4 billion people used the internet on a regular basis in 2008 and in Asia Pacific, on average, a person spent about 20.2 hours a month online. Our own survey has revealed online consumers in Asia Pacific recognize the convenience of online shopping as reflected in the high percentage of internet users who buy a wide range of products, from that for everyday use to the occasional high-value item online.

In the region, Japanese and Koreans surveyed emerged as the most frequent shoppers, with 99% and 93% respectively having made an online purchase over the last 12 months. A coincidence perhaps, but these two countries also have some of the fastest home and office broadband internet connections in the world. 

Australians were however the biggest online spenders with an average 12-month tab of US$4,160 US$680 more than Singaporeans, who are the next biggest online spenders.

In India, purchasing digital downloads was the most popular form of consumer e-commerce. 76% of respondents from India, the highest among Asia Pacific, have bought a form of digital entertainment over the internet in the last 12 months.

Music downloads (63%) emerged as the most popular digital entertainment purchase. The internet has also brought about an increase in the number of cross-border transactions with 75% of internet users surveyed in Hong Kong having bought an item from an overseas website in the preceding 12 months.

With almost four in five internet users buying online, people in Asia Pacific are taking full advantage of the global shopping experience that the internet provides, Mohamad added.

Past 12 months online shopping spending by website category Top 10 in Asia Pacific
1 Airlines / Airline Tickets 6 Computer Hardware (PC)
2 Online Travel Agents 7 Food and Groceries
3 Travel Accommodation 8 Electrical Appliances (TV, stereo, etc)
4 Clothes / Shoes 9 White Goods (refrigerator, dishwasher, etc)
5 Car / Motorcycle 10 Other types of transportation for traveling

Source: Visa e-Commerce Tracking Survey

Average online spending in the past 12 months
1 Australia US$4,160
2 Singapore US$3,480
3 Japan US$3,175
4 South Korea US$3,027
5 India US$2,147
6 Hong Kong US$1,698

Source: Visa e-Commerce Tracking Survey

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