Nearly half of HK consumers use an e-wallet

Nearly half of Hong Kong consumers now have an e-wallet, according to new Nielsen research (Image DGLimages / iStockPhoto)

Nearly half (46%) of Hong Kong consumers are now using an e-wallet, with adoption having increased 15.4% year-on-year during the fourth quarter of 2017, according to research from Nielsen.

The market research company’s Hong Kong eCommerce Study 2017, conducted on behalf of the Hong Kong Retail Management Association, found that adoption of smartphones and tablets for online shopping has also increased significantly.

One in four respondents are using mobile phones to shop online, up 8% from a year ago, while 11% are using tablets. This lead to a corresponding 8% decrease in the portion of respondents who said they use home computers to shop online, down 48% from a year ago.

Online shopping is also no longer the exclusive purview of the young, with around 80% of respondents across all age groups having shopped online in the last 12 months, including 67% in the 50-64 age range.

But the research also found that consumers still have reservations about shopping online, including a desire to inspect goods before they buy and their need for convenience and to follow routines.

Nielsen managing director for Hong Kong and Macau Michael Lee said this demonstrates the requirement for Hong Kong retailers to make online shopping more welcoming by providing benefits such as click and collect, return policies, showroom and cash on delivery options.

“Consumer experience is essential. With online shopping become more popular, it is important for industry players to identify the key ways to win in the ecommerce market in Hong Kong,” he said.

“To stand out in this highly competitive market it is important to provide unique cross-screen experience as well as unique product range for consumers. The beauty of ecommerce is convenience, so easy checkout method via e-wallet and flexible pick up and return policies are also key to winning."