New Research Shows Multi-sided Marketplaces Taking Off In Hong Kong

Hong Kong, July 26, 2018 – Multi-sided marketplaces are changing how consumers shop, travel and commute in Hong Kong, revealed new research by Stripe, a technology company that builds the economic infrastructure of the internet. By using technology to facilitate online transactions between multiple third-party buyers and sellers simultaneously, these online marketplaces — such as honestbee and KKday — are providing consumers with greater convenience in their daily lives.

Almost half (48%) of Hong Kongers have used an online hotel and hospitality marketplace in the past year, followed by restaurant reservation platforms (36%), both the highest among the nine markets surveyed. These were followed by ride-sharing (22%), food delivery (17%) and ecommerce (13%) marketplaces, the latter marking a noteworthy shift in a city which boasts the highest mall density in the world[1] and where consumers have traditionally preferred to shop in stores. This finding dovetails with several other studies that show Hong Kong’s brick and mortar operations shifting towards ecommerce plays in the coming years.[2]

Significantly, consumer preferences in Hong Kong show an even greater shift. Over 70% of Hong Kongers surveyed said they prefer using online marketplaces for transportation, hospitality and food delivery instead of booking taxis, hotels and restaurants directly. More than four fifths (81%) of Hong Kongers said that online marketplaces are helping them find products and services they otherwise wouldn’t find, while over half (56%) also said that they now spend more money on marketplaces.

Fast, secure and frictionless mobile experiences are key
The study, conducted by research firm Nielsen, demonstrates the impact that multi-sided marketplaces are having by providing fast, seamless mobile-first experiences.

A majority (79%) of all uses of ridesharing marketplaces in the past year happened on mobile devices. The trend is also reflected in the use of other services: 76% of visits to food delivery (compared to 72% in Singapore) and 73% of visits restaurant reservation marketplaces (compared to 64% in Singapore) took place on mobile, along with nearly half of all uses of ecommerce marketplaces (49%).

For many, a big part of the experience came down to having fast, secure and frictionless payments. Seven in 10 consumers in Hong Kong will abandon a purchase if it takes too long to enter payment information and 73% said that it’s important to not have to enter their credit card details every time they make a purchase. Ninety-four percent also want to know their details are safe.

The economic opportunity for mobile payments in Hong Kong looks promising as well: over 40% percent of Hong Kongers said they would be more likely to visit a website or app if it offered digital wallets and regional payment methods like Apple Pay and Alipay. This figure jumps above 50% percent for millennials. This suggests an opportunity for businesses looking to grow and increase conversions online.

Hong Kongers believe that marketplaces are boosting the economy
Marketplaces aren’t just impacting how we buy and sell online, they also driving change in the overall economy, according to the survey.

Eighty-four percent in Hong Kong said they believe marketplaces are beneficial to the economy. Of those, most said that marketplaces give consumers more choice (75%). Many also said that they believe marketplaces increase competition between businesses (43%), help small businesses reach more consumers (49%), provide more flexibility for part-time workers (42%) and create more jobs (45%).

“We’re starting to see the real transformative impact of the internet with the growth of these multi-sided marketplaces. These marketplaces aren’t just changing the way we travel, shop and commute, they are fundamentally changing the internet economy, creating new commercial experiences that cannot exist in the offline world and driving the next wave of growth online,” said Piruze Sabuncu, Head of Hong Kong and Southeast Asia, Stripe.

“Traveling is all about experiences, but traditionally these experiences have also been the hardest things for people to research, plan, and book before arriving at their destination. Still more disappointing is to then find the perfect experience — whether it’s a Kpop dancing class in Seoul or a camping tour in Grand Canyon — only to find out it sold out during your stay.  At KKday, our goal is to change all of this by providing an e-commerce travel platform that uses features like “instant booking” and “QR code redemption” to connect over one million travelers with authentic local tours and activities in over 80 countries and 500 cities around the world. Creating easy checkout experiences on the KKday app allows travelers to book their trips conveniently,” said Rebecca Leung, Regional Executive Director, KKday.

“Since honestbee launched in 2015, we have been connecting hundreds of partners across food delivery, grocery, laundry and ticketing services to consumers in eight cities across Asia. We believe the scalability of the online marketplace model has been a key driver behind this growth. We understand that sellers will always want a larger potential customer base, while buyers seek added value and a wide array of options. By delivering these needs in the most frictionless way possible, we are able to realise our vision to become the world’s most convenient services marketplace,” said Pauline Png, Managing Director (Hong Kong), honestbee.

[1] https://www.scmp.com/tech/e-commerce/article/2119505/hong-kong-consumers-warm-online-shopping-little-help-alibabas

[2] https://www.scmp.com/property/hong-kong-china/article/2150336/shuttered-shopfronts-show-impact-e-commerce-hong-kongs

About This Study
This study was conducted online by Nielsen in January 2018 among 1,000+ adults, 18 and older, in the United States; and among 500+ adults, 18 and older, in Australia, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Netherlands, Singapore, and the U.K. Where applicable, local examples of ride-sharing platforms, food-delivery services, e-commerce, and other multi-sided marketplaces were used in individual country surveys.

Full report available here.

About Stripe
Stripe is a technology company that builds economic infrastructure for the internet. Everyone from new startups to public companies like Salesforce and Facebook use Stripe’s software to accept online payments and run their businesses. Only 3 percent of commerce happens online today. Stripe wants to help more companies get started and to grow the GDP of the internet. For more about Stripe, please visit https://stripe.com/press or contact media@stripe.com.

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