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Survey : Rakuten reveals that the West behind the East for mobile commerce adoption

Today Rakuten, the world’s 3rd largest e-commerce marketplace, shared insights from an independent global survey into mobile shopping trends which reveals that countries in the Far East were nearly twice as likely as their western counterparts to shop via their mobile device, with 15% of Indonesians and 13% of Thais happy to shop from their handsets, compared to just 8% of Americans and 8% of Brits.

Globally the main motivation for shopping on a PC or laptop rather than a mobile device was perception of an inferior shopping experience on mobile, with just under half of all respondents in each country citing this as their main reason for shopping on their laptops. In Europe, Brits were most worried about mobile security, with 27% of respondents stating that this was their biggest mobile shopping concern, compared to just 14% of Italians and Japanese.

Tablets have been heralded as a game changer for mobile commerce, allowing a richer multimedia browsing experience more akin to a PC. Yet, despite soaring growth in tablet sales in Western Europe, up 142% year on year in the first half of 2012 according to research from GFK, Thailand came out top for m-commerce tablet adoption with 35% using their tablets for shopping, compared to closest European market Italy at 18% and the UK at 14%.

Adam Stewart, Marketing Director at Rakuten’s commented on the insights for the UK market: “At Rakuten’s we have seen a nearly 120% increase in traffic from mobile and tablet devices over the last 12 months; however there is still a gap between browsing and buying that we need to bridge. As an industry we need to build consumer confidence in mobile shopping platforms, by refining the shopping experience online, offering more mobile tailored offers to incentivise purchase and ensure mobile payments are secure, smooth and hassle free.”

The survey also investigated the propensity of shoppers to recommend a product on social platforms. UK marketplace Rakuten’s recently revealed that an engaged fan is worth 24% more in terms of sales than a non fan, but Rakuten research reveals that the UK remains behind France and Italy for social shopping, with just a quarter of those surveyed having ever shared a product on social media, compared to nearly half in Spain (50%) and Italy (47%).


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