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September 28, 2012

Consumers in Far East twice as likely as westerners to shop on mobile devices

Research reveals mobile use in emerging markets as a major opportunity for merchants wanting to sell their products or services abroad.

By Tineka Smith

WorldPay surveyed over 19,000 consumers around the globe to discover shopping habits of consumers online.

The results showed that mobile use in India and China was significantly higher than the global average. Smartphone ownership in these countries was nearly 75% compared to the UK (48%) and the US (41%).

"Mobile shopping is undoubtedly the next frontier for online merchants, and emerging markets have been quick to adopt it, but the burning question is whether merchants can successfully tap into these markets," said Phil McGriskin, Chief Product Officer for WorldPay." The rapid-growth economies of India, Brazil and China are particularly ones to watch out for from a mobile perspective, with consumers in these regions demonstrating a clear preference for shopping on these devices."

A large amount of consumers in developing markets have difficulty accessing desktop computers due to a lack of infrastructure, so mobile phones can often be the only way of accessing the internet.

The Far East has a large percentage of "heavy spenders" on the web with 48% of shoppers in China reporting they will likely spend a third of their disposable income online.

54% of Indian respondents said they intended to buy a smartphone within the next year followed by 48% of Chinese consumers who said they would do the same.

However, the report reveals that there are obstacles merchants looking to branch abroad will have to overcome with more than half of consumers in emerging markets reporting they have concerns about security and identity protection.

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"The cross-border opportunity is an attractive one and large global corporations may look to roll out their existing platforms to emerging markets, this however should be done with due caution," said McGriskin. "Local language and the availability of local payment types are critical to success"

Please follow this author on Twitter @Tineka_S or comment below.

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