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SEA sees 40% growth in mobile conversation rates: Research

Southeast Asia’s businesses are still driving consumer purchases largely via desktop instead of the smartphone, Adobe’s latest Best of the Best research found. However, it is worth noting that the desktop traffic is falling across Asia Pacific as it experienced the largest decrease in time spent on websites at 13 per cent. On the other hand, SEA saw 40 per cent growth in smartphone conversion rates thanks to the improvement in connectivity and data speeds and highlighting how consumer’s attention spans are decreasing.

The findings of the research are based on aggregated and anonymous data from 100 billion visits to 3,000+ websites across the region including India, Australia, New Zealand, Korea, Hong Kong, Japan and the United States.

SEA’s top 20 per cent performing websites had the biggest decrease in desktop traffic in favour of smartphone interactions, however, the region’s ‘average’ websites saw the lowest decrease (-6 per cent). This highlights the widening gap between the best and the average websites, with the best, or top 20 per cent, achieving 57 per cent more conversions on smartphones than the competition. While India and Japan see the largest gap (19.5 per cent and 19.7 per cent, respectively); Australia and New Zealand see the smallest gap at 15.2 per cent.

SEA experienced an 18 per cent YoY increase for smartphone traffic to 37 per cent but the region still falls below the APAC average of 39 per cent, the report found. There was a 40 per cent YoY increase in smartphone conversion rates to 0.7 per cent, however the region still lags behind the APAC average rate of 1.1 per cent.

Desktop conversion rates also grew YoY (average +21 per cent; BoB +25 per cent) and were still more than double the conversion rates of smartphones. This suggests that even as SEA consumers are browsing more on their smartphones, they are still purchasing via desktop.

The research noted that as smartphone traffic grew in every country, Japan and all APAC countries saw an average increase of 29 per cent in smartphone traffic year-over-year. Australia and New Zealand had the highest growth of 44 per cent year-over-year and India was second at 40 per cent growth.

“While consumers in SEA are still making their purchases largely on the desktop, brands should not ignore the rise of smartphones that will fast overtake desktops,” said Tamara Gaffney, Head of Adobe Digital Insights.

“SEA’s smartphone conversions have grown incredibly over the past year, but are still falling behind all other countries measured, with significant room for improvements. Brands need to adapt quickly to this change in the way consumers are engaging on the web, to make gains for the decreased time spent and stickiness[4] seen across almost every industry,” Ms Gaffney added.

Repeat visits rate from smartphones decreased for both the Top 20 and average performers in SEA, showing that the consumers are less likely to return to a website in the same month than in 2015. Ms Gaffney noted, “Organisations that are overly dependent on desktop traffic, and not optimising on smartphones, may find themselves at risk of becoming obsolete as smartphone share of visits continues to multiply.”

In terms of industries, automotive, travel & hospitality, and technology had the lowest visit rates for the second year in a row.

The findings were released at the Adobe Experience Forum held in Singapore on July 25.

Shubhi Tandon

Shubhi Tandon is the Assistant Editor at Digital Market Asia. Fascinated by the evolving digital media industry, she has focussed on tracking developments in the Asia Pacific market since 2014.
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