Shopping on mobile devices, i.e., “m-tailing” is surging across China, according to a report from digital agency Draftfcb Greater China. Two-thirds (67%) of respondents indicated that looking at products on a mobile phone is just as satisfying as being in a store and 71% believed that shopping on a mobile phone provides better deals than other ways of shopping.
As with other countries, convenience is one of the main factors driving mobile shopping, explained Tiffana Pun, VP and head of strategic planning at Draftfcb Greater China. “Shopping on mobile devices allows people to shop from any place at any time they want and lets them search for the right product for the best price,” Pun noted.
The majority of respondents (77%) indicated that shopping by mobile phone removes the hassle of speaking to salespeople. Even if speaking to a salesperson could lead to a better bargain, nearly 85% said convenience was more important than saving money.
Crowdsourcing comments from friends and checking online reviews before making a purchase are also common, according to Pun. “Our mobile shoppers are heavily influenced by reviews and recommendations from friends in the choice of products they are not familiar with,” she said. “They think product reviews are more trustworthy than a salesperson.”
The Draftfcb China report’s findings are in line with a recent PricewaterhouseCoopers survey, which polled more than 11,000 online shoppers in 11 countries including China, the US, Brazil, Germany, Russia and the UK. One in four Chinese consumers are expected to use their smartphones or tablets to shop online over the next 12 months, which is twice as high as the global sample, according to the survey.
While only 30% of the Chinese respondents said they had been shopping online for more than five years, compared to 44% of the global sample, China is the largest mobile phone market with 1.15 billion subscribers.