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Asia-based apps boost online shopping sector

March 29
9:10 AM 2016

Online shopping is made easy with the advent of smartphones, creating a new era for online sellers. Online marketing sector has gained from many e-commerce apps over the recent period. One such app is Shopee, an e-commerce app designed by a business arm of Garena Online, a Singapore-based internet start-up firm with assets worth at $2.5 billion.

A survey conducted by Pew Research Center in 2015 showed that US consumers mostly utilize their mobile instruments for music entertainment and for locating their directions rather than for online purchasing. However, a few Asian tech start-ups have started to change the trend in online marketing by introducing many apps that enable users to sell and buy products more easily than the traditional online marketing platforms like e-Bay, according to THE WALL STREET JOURNAL.

In addition, many foreign investors are lured by the recent growth in the e-commerce market, which envelope companies with more than $1 billion valuations amid the sluggish global economy. Jay Pang, a 29 year old Singapore engineer, uses most of his travel time selling rare Legos through his smartphone. According to him, "People can shop from anywhere, and I can instantly negotiate a price. It's the best way to sell."

Currently, e-commerce apps like Mercari of Japan, Singapore's Carousell and Shopee are winning the battle for online marketing over the traditional websites like eBay. With the help of these apps, users can create product listings more easily than in the old-styled platforms like eBay. Shopee has lured nearly 3 million customers across nations like Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore since its inauguration in November.

Zaihang, another Beijing-based shopping app, has joined the e-commerce apps list aiding users with their shopping modules. The app also helps poker players to find suitable poker masters and develop their poker skills. These great people, who are good at some work, are called as experts or Hangjia by Zaihang. The app has attracted over 8K experts to register and sell their skills across nine cities, since its inception on March 2015, as reported by CHINADAILY.

Asia is the home for over one billion smartphone users, which is almost over three times the US population. Data from We Are Social, a consultancy based in the UK, showed that roughly 43% of South Koreans used their smartphones to purchase goods over the previous 30 days, the highest ratio in the world. Asia is the land with six top mobile buyers, which is led by countries like India and China.

Meanwhile, Alibaba, e-commerce giant based in China, is reportedly planning to spend US$15 million to enhance a digital flea market. The e-commerce site that runs Taobao, a leading online shopping platform in China, is said to launch the flea market in 100 urban regions to enable Xianyu users to trade used products within their locality, South China Morning Post said.

The e-commerce market is attracting many customers and investors, who are ready to invest in the sector, despite the gloomy atmosphere in the global market. Asian markets provide a strong base for many tech start-ups, with high penetration into mobile internet.

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