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MENAFN Press - 19/12/2012

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(MENAFN Press) (EMAILWIRE.COM, December 19, 2012 ) San Francisco --

The world of online shopping is changing. Online shoppers can order a year's supply of sanitary wipes, or return a dress that one does not want after a week.

The work of online shopping has certainly shifted for the ever-growing number of consumers that can be found perusing the many goods. The changes are most notable in the time-starved consumer base of Asia, where the largest economies are developing fast. The use of instant gratification with a single mouse or scroll-click has wooed many in the purchasing sector. After-sale services and bonuses only bolster the enjoyment for many of the same consumers.

Over 344 billion was tallied in online merchandise tales for China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. Each of the five economies witnessed large increases in total growth compared to the year prior. The total increases ranged from 8% of the Japanese market, to the above 67% increase within china.

Consumers in Singapore spent 1.4 billion (33% higher than in 2010) according to PayPal as well as research company Nielsen.

Guan Xin, a bank executive, was one of 200 million who took advantage of the November 11's Singles' Day, as she purchased running shoes, an MP4 player, phone charger, as well as a mop. Online purchases reached 3.7 billion in that day alone.

"It's faster to buy online. I already knew what I wanted," said Ms Guan.

Guan fits the mold of a Chinese buyer, as she is in between the late teens and early 30s, able and willing to purchase items, and understands how to utilize the latest in technology as it pertains to shopping logistics.

The Japanese account for 20% of purchases online according to the Nikkei business daily.

Taiwan's top online retail company, PCHome, sold over 1 million toilet paper roll packs last year.

Free delivery mixed with a no minimum spending has become a large plus for grocery purchases in the respective countries. Many retailers offer free returns and refunds for faulty items as well, adding to customers interest in purchasing.

Lee Yi-Chiun, a web-service engineer, returned a netbook with a faulty screen from an online retailer associated with Yahoo after a week of receiving the unit.

"I got a full refund promptly, no problem," said Mr Lee, who is one of the company's "platinum" members, having racked up more than NT1 million worth of purchases, including a washing machine and a refrigerator.

"I don't think a bricks-and- mortar shop would have been as generous," he said.

When it comes to the Chinese clothing retailer Vancl, shoppers can return the clothing without having to pay a penny. There need to be no direct reason for the return either. Once again, shoppers are more likely to spend with such affordable perks and additions.

Still, online companies fall far short of overtaking brick-and-mortar stores. Online purchases in Japan reached a mere 2.8% of total personal consumption in 2011.

The potential stands large, but thus far, there is still much to be desired for online retailers.


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