THE use of mobile shopping apps has more than tripled in South-east Asia over the past year, head and shoulders above the average 28 per cent growth in app use, a new study has found.
Mobile shopping app use jumped by 240 per cent between 2017 and 2018, making m-commerce the most popular category for regional users.
Health and fitness apps grew by 170 per cent, followed by business and finance apps, where use was up by 102 per cent, and lifestyle apps, more popular by 51 per cent on the year before.
Losers, meanwhile, included photography apps - where the number of user sessions shrank by 50 per cent - and news and magazines, down by 32 per cent.
The study, which looked at data from 14,500 apps and 217 million devices in South-east Asia, was carried out by mobile developer analytics platform Flurry, which is part of Oath - the Verizon unit that also owns Yahoo!.
Rico Chan, Oath’s regional managing director, said: “Retailers need to consider the pace of growth in m-commerce and work with app developers to meet the needs of consumers.
“Users now see their phones as more than a tool for snapping photos and catching up with the news headlines.”
Oath attributed the hefty rise in the use of shopping apps to “users being more willing to pay via mobile devices, as mobile payments become more advanced and trustworthy”.
Mr Chan also noted that competition in the South-east Asian mobile app market “has become brutal”, while the worldwide slowdown in the industry “could signal market maturity, saturation or simply the end of the app gold rush”.