Shopping over cell phones has become very appealing to a young and newly connected population.
Although the highest rates of smartphone penetration remain in more developed markets such as Singapore, it is within other countries such as the Philippines and Thailand that m-commerce is growing at the fastest speed.
Despite the fact that smartphone penetration is lower, mobile shopping is rising exceptionally quickly.
According to online shopping service Lazada’s CEO and co-founder Inanc Balci, “We are starting from a lower base because mobile phone penetration in the Philippines is still quite low – one of the lowest in Asia – but at the same time it is growing faster than the other countries.” This has been explained by Euromonitor International, which stated that as a result of the population that is young and connected to the internet, it opens up a broader range of different online vendors and options for making payments. It has predicted that in both the Philippines and Thailand markets, m-commerce will have passed the $9 million mark by the close of 2018.
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There are a number of issues that are driving m-commerce forward in those markets.
Balci explained that Lazada feels that there are two primary drivers behind the trend, stating that “one is telco companies are investing more and making internet available in more places in the Philippines but at the same time smartphone prices are going down, partly because local brands are bringing better and cheaper smartphones into the market.” Once all of the various components are combined, it promotes greater penetration of mobile devices, said Balci, and at the same time, mobile commerce expands, as well.
More than half of Lazada visitors now use the site by way of mobile platforms. Financial institutions have spotted this opportunity and are moving quickly to create their own mobile banking and payments apps for their customers and for merchants to use. This is allowing companies in many different categories to be able to rapidly take advantage of what m-commerce has to offer and it is making it a part of their everyday lives to an increasing degree.