Unfazed by challenging economic conditions, online spending continues to be popular among internet users in the Asia-Pacific during the last quarter of 2008 with 89 per cent of people who participated in a survey saying they had shopped online in the past 12 months, according to a survey.
The survey conducted by the Visa e-Commerce Consumer Monitor found that respondents spent an average of $3,109 in the past year ended December 2008. This figure is close to the reported average e-commerce spend of $3,009 and $2,784 for the 12 months ended June and September 2008 respectively.
According to the survey, online shoppers have spent the most in the 12 months ended December 2008, with online shoppers from Singapore having spent $4,018, Hong Kong $3,791 and India $3,442.
Online spending in these countries and territories also saw the largest quarter-on-quarter increases. Those from Hong Kong said they spent more than double what they had spent in the previous survey period while spending in India and Singapore rose by 42 per cent and 34 per cent respectively.
''Our survey shows that online shopping appears to be resilient in the uncertain economy. The ability to browse a wide range of retail offerings to compare prices and seek cheaper buys on the internet seems to be leading budget conscious consumers to shop online,'' said Sunny Cheung, country manager Hong Kong and Macau, Visa.
''With online sales in Asia Pacific expected to reach in excess of $71 billion by 2012, the emphasis on providing secure online payment for the increasing volumes of internet transactions remains a priority for Visa,'' he added.
Key online spend areas
Among the categories surveyed, the top three biggest online spend areas for consumers in Asia Pacific were all travel related services. According to the survey, the highest areas of spending in the past 12 months were airline/airline tickets $970, online travel agents $647 and travel accommodation $527.
Cross-border online transactions were reported to have risen in all the countries and territories surveyed. According to the average spend per transaction as reported by respondents, cross-border online spending rose by nearly 40 per cent - from $263 in Q3 2008 to $368 in Q4 2008.
On average, respondents said they spent $316 in the past 12 months on cross-border transactions with respondents from Japan spending $517, followed by Singapore with an average spending of $372 and India $350.
The trend to shop online looks set to continue with 81 per cent of respondents stating they were likely to shop online again in the next 12 months with 96 per cent respondents from Korea, Japan 90 per cent and Australia 83 per cent were the most likely to make purchases online in the region.
|Asia Pacific past 12 month quarter-on-quarter average online spending (in US$)|
| ||Q3 2008 ||Q4 2008 || ||Q3 2008 ||Q4 2008|
|Hong Kong ||$1,785 ||$3,791 ||Japan ||$2,976 ||$2,972|
|Australia ||$3,253 ||$2,382 ||Korea ||$3,038 ||$2,472|
|India ||$2,419 ||$3,442 ||Singapore ||$2,989 ||$4,018|
|Average past 12 months (ending December 2008) regional online spending: US$3,109|
|Source: Visa e-Commerce Consumer Monitor Q2-Q4 2008|