New platforms of online shoppingThe widespread usage of smartphones along with mobile internet has accelerated the penetration rate of m-commerce in the Asia-Pacific region. Beyond the devices e-commerce takes place on, online shopping has long exceeded the limits of a website and has taken many new shapes and forms. Social media has become a popular medium for online shopping not only in the Asia-Pacific region but worldwide. Social commerce sales are predicted to skyrocket worldwide. There are over 800 million social commerce shoppers in China alone, and more than half of consumers in Southeast Asia are interested in using social commerce.
Consumer preferences and decisionsThe COVID-19 pandemic was inarguably the main cause for new digital consumers in the Asia-Pacific region in the last couple of years. As consumers get accustomed to online shopping, the preference to shop in physical stores has declined. While most customers prefer to mix both online and offline shopping, it depends on product categories, and Japanese consumers seem to prefer offline shopping the most in the Asia-Pacific region.
Influences on shopping decisions can vary largely across countries depending on cultural and socio-economic factors. According to a study, social media influencers and family members influence consumers in the Asia-Pacific region the most. However, the influence of certain sources do not vary only among different markets but also among generations, with Gen Z caring most about what other consumers say on social media.