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APAC consumers least responsive to mobile ads as spray-and-pray approach prevails

Source: IAB

After seeing an ad on a mobile or tablet, did you interact or do nothing? Source: IAB

A global report by the Interactive Advertising Bureau has found that the Asia Pacific region is the least responsive to mobile advertising, with a spray-and-pray approach to running ads on mobile devices still prevalent as brands go for quantity above quality.

More than a quarter (28%) of APAC respondents in the IAB’s study have not interacted with mobile ads in the last six months, compared to 19% in both South America and Europe.

This finding contrasts with the high propensity for consumers in this region to make purchases using their mobile devices, particularly in China, probably the world’s most advanced e-commerce market.

Fully 44% of respondents in China said that buy stuff using their mobiles every month, compared to just over a third in Singapore and Australia. Overall, three in 10 APAC consumers makes mobile purchases monthly.

Make mobile purchases monthly; Source: IAB

Make mobile purchases monthly; Source: IAB

However mobile customers in APAC tend to be less satisfied with the experience, the survey of 3,800 respondents in 19 countries, including Singapore, China, Japan and Australia found.

In Singapore and China, respondents are 50% more likely to have had a bad buying experience, and only three in four APAC consumers are satisfied with their mobile purchase, compared to four in five globally.

As a result, APAC consumers are 11% less likely to make a repeat mobile purchase in the next 6 months.

Respondents cite negative purchase experiences as a key barrier to repeat purchase. Other concerns include privacy and security.

Barriers to purchase

“While mobile purchasers are high in APAC, poor buying experiences have dampened initial enthusiasm“ said Regina Goh, IAB mobile committee chair and Asia MD of location-based ad tech firm Blis.

“Sellers in the region need to consider the consumer’s journey from the first click to post-purchase to ensure customers are delighted and come back for more.”

The report found that the key motivations for mobile commerce were convenience and value.

Convenience and value

This finding contrasts with the view of the head of e-commerce at Mondelez APAC, who said at a conference in Singapore recently that it was smartphone “addiction” that was driving purchasing behaviour in markets such as China, not convenience.

Miranda Dimopoulos, CEO of IAB Singapore, commented: “Many markets in APAC are mobile-first, and consumers are now mature online buyers with more discerning tastes than the global average.”

“Advertisers who make an effort to understand their needs and craft the right messages have a tremendous opportunity to cut through the noise and seize market share,” she said.

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