Fashion Goes Mobile in Asia Pacific


Asia Pacific accounts for 1.7 billion unique mobile subscribers, approximately half of the world’s total mobile subscribers. And this figure is expected to grow by 5.5% annually (CAGR), reaching a staggering 2.4 billion subscribers by 2020[1]. While smartphone adoption rates are not completely homogenous across the region, three market leaders in terms of smartphone adoption are Hong Kong (87%), Singapore (87%) and South Korea (80%)[2]. In fact, more than 55% of phones in Southeast Asia are smartphones[3]. In Q1 2014, smartphone sales hit the 18 million mark, a 43% jump from the same period in 2013[4]. This growth prediction is accompanied with estimates that devices will climb up from 340 million units in 2013 to 700 million units in 2017[5], while the global mobile commerce market will climb from USD $116.1 billion in 2014 to USD $467.3 billion in 2019[6]. These figures strongly indicate the region’s vast mobile commerce potential as more and more consumers gain access to online shopping via their mobile devices.

Mobile Commerce – This Season’s Must-Have


This mobile commerce explosion has impacted multiple industries but one particular industry riding on the mobile shopping wave is fashion retail. With clothes shopping traditionally seen as a physical shopping experience occurring in a brick-and-mortar store, buying clothes online almost seems contradictory to the notion of “try before you buy”. But end consumers love the greater convenience that mobile shopping offers. Consumers today are digitally savvy and crave immediacy, with many spending significant amounts of time on their mobile devices.

According to SPeCommerce research, one of its key fashion retail clients revealed that from January to December 2014, an average of 16% to 30% of traffic for its regional sites (Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore and the Philippines) came from mobile devices. In January and February 2015, another client, a leading apparel retailer in the region, saw 63% of its traffic coming from mobile and tablet, from the Singapore market alone. In Australia, the same retailer saw more than half (53%) of its traffic coming from mobile and tablet during the same time period. Singapore-based online fashion retailer Zalora also revealed a mobile-centric audience, with 45% of its sales coming completely from both its mobile app and mobile site[7].

Creating Great Mobile Moments


As mobile commerce continues to grow in Asia Pacific, brands and retailers must continually engage and excite their consumers. Here are some key ways of keeping mobile consumers interested:

  1. Make Mobile A Priority or Risk Becoming Unfashionable – Create exclusive offers for your mobile consumers in the form of promo codes. Mobile-friendly is no longer sufficient; brands now need to think about mobile-first. For fashion retailers, having product information such as sizes, colors and styles easily and quickly accessible on the go makes mobile shopping a convenient choice for today’s consumer who wants to stay updated on the latest fashion trends and shop on the go.
  2. Empower Your Customers To Market For You – Asia Pacific’s mobile commerce growth is largely driven by the highly social nature of the region’s consumers. With over 160 million active social media users across Southeast Asia and 900 million across APAC[8], integrating social media into the mobile experience has become an effective means of raising brand awareness. Considering that the nature of fashion is inherently social, social sharing is a powerful tool to increase brand awareness, audience and sales. By providing everyday consumers with the social sharing tools they need to share deals, purchases and wish-lists, fashion brands and retailers can develop their very own brand advocates.
  3. Don’t Just Build a Customer Base, Build a Community – Third party apps are also helping to create a thriving environment for fashion retailers to sell in the social space. Instagram tools such as “” allows users to directly receive purchasing information on outfits that they “like” on the image sharing platform, while US-based mobile app “The Hunt” allows users to tap into a growing community of fashion finders to help find key shopping picks they wouldn’t have found otherwise. Integrating social into the mobile commerce space gives brands the opportunity to connect consumers with each other through posts, shares and common tags such as #OOTDs (Outfits of the Day). Within a community of shared interests, these elements of increased consumer engagement and virality will serve as key features of mobile commerce success.
  4. Location, location, location Consider geo-fencing apps that offer location-specific deals and offers, so your consumers are engaged on the go, while you maintain top-of-mind recall. Also consider push notifications; these text-message style pop-ups to capture the attention of your consumers within a short span of time, focusing on clear call-to-actions and minimal click-throughs.
  5. Make It Personal – Just like any face-to-face interaction with a customer, focus on delivering personalized mobile experiences that make consumers feel they are special and valued. By leveraging social media data through social logins, you can track what your consumers are browsing, talking about and sharing with their friends so that the content you share with them really is targeted and in line with their interests and preferences.

How SingPost eCommerce Can Help

SingPost eCommerce is a full service eCommerce enabler that provides global brands with Asia Pacific’s first end-to-end managed eCommerce solution. Through our work with major brands and retailers, we understand that this region is multi-faced and dynamic with changing consumer behavior and needs. To effectively reach out to the end consumer, brands need an eCommerce solutions partner that has in-depth knowledge of the region and is able to provide a flexible and scalable technology and logistics ecosystem. Backed by cutting edge eCommerce technology, we develop best in class online shopping platforms that provide your customers with a seamless and superior shopping experience across devices through responsive web store designs.

To learn more contact our experts and read here.


About the Author


Marcelo Wesseler, CEO of SingPost eCommerce

Marcelo leads the eCommerce business unit for SingPost. He has more than 15 years of international experience in global eCommerce businesses and held senior management positions at KPMG Consulting, Hewlett Packard in the US, and RS Components. Prior to joining SingPost in 2012, Marcelo implemented businesses like,,, to name a few. Follow Marcelo on Linked