Despite the large concentration of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency related activities in China, a new report suggests that a tiny proportion of online shoppers in the world’s most populated country use the top digital currency.
The study, based on a 20-minute digital survey with a nationally representative sample of 1,000 online digital shoppers ageing 18+ in the U.S. and China, conducted between Sept. 19 and Oct. 12, 2016, says credit cards, online payment services and mobile wallet still tops the list of the most used online payment method by device among US and Chinese shoppers respectively by a large margin.
The research by consulting firm Hypothesis Group shows that about 1 percent of users, even less for mobile users in China, in the world’s two largest economies use Bitcoin or other online currency for the same purpose.
US vs. China
The study “Understanding Digital Commerce in the U.S. and China” says Chinese digital users engage in more shopping behaviors on smartphones and tablets than those in the United States but Bitcoin or other online currency only account for 1 percent of computer users on both sides while 0 percent of Chinese mobile users use the digital currency compared to 1 percent in the US.
Meanwhile, when it comes to making a purchase, US shoppers are more likely to use a credit or debit card (63 percent in U.S. vs. 34 percent in China on computer; 37 percent in U.S. vs. 6 percent in China on mobile) while the Chinese are more likely to use digital payment service like PayPal or WePay (47 percent in China vs. 15 percent in U.S. on computer; 36 percent in China vs. 17 percent in U.S. on mobile) or a mobile wallet service like Apple Pay (21 percent in China vs. 2 percent in U.S.).
Digital commerce highlights
Whereas, the study shows that 67 percent of Chinese digital users have made a mobile purchase over the previous 12 months compared to 34 percent in the U.S. Interestingly, 89 percent of Chinese mobile shoppers are keen on making a mobile purchase over the next month compared to 78 percent in the U.S.
The results, released by Interactive Advertising Bureau and IAB China on Thursday November 11, also shows that 24 percent of Chinese mobile shoppers purchase via mobile every day while 15 percent do so in the U.S.
Digital purchases now account for more than half (59 percent) of all monthly purchases in China and 42 percent of those in the U.S., it says, adding that 48 percent of the purchases made in China are via mobile while mobile commerce only accounts for 26 percent in the U.S.
Both countries have achieved a near-full adoption of digital commerce, with 89 percent of Chinese digital users ageing 18+ and 84 percent of U.S. digital users ageing 18+ saying that they had bought a product or service digitally over the previous 12 months.
China leads in mobile
The report which was released before Singles’ Day, one of the largest digital shopping days in the world, finds that using a mobile device to research and compare prices while in-store are more common in China (38 percent as compared to 23 percent in the U.S.) with almost a third of Americans (29 percent) never research or compare prices in-store (compared to 7 percent in China).
“These results should help marketers who want to reach Chinese shoppers, follow their lead by investing in mobile advertising, so that they can bring their messages to the right people at the right time,” says Secretary General of the Interactive Internet Advertising Committee of China (IIACC) and head of IAB China, Chen Yong.
As China is a mobile-first culture, with their initial adoption of the internet driven by mobile devices, the study shows a year-over-year upticks in terms of mobile growth in the U.S. The trend is expected to extend to U.S. mobile commerce going forward.