MasterCard Identifies 10 Industry-Wide Transformations Impacting E-commerce

Online shopping has become a fact of life for much of the Asia Pacific, especially in China, Japan and South Korea. With consumers turning over $567 billion in e-commerce transactions in 2014, global brands are seeking insights regarding the future of the APAC e-commerce industry. A new white paper with research conducted by MasterCard Asia Pacific identifies the ten industry-wide transformations impacting the e-commerce industry from a consumer, merchant and issuer perspective.

The economic landscape in the Asia Pacific is in a state of fundamental transformation and growth, comparable in significance to the advent of the middle class. The Asian consumers are twice as likely to buy online than any other group in the world and purchase from a wide range of categories. Processing over 43 billion transactions each year, MasterCard has an insightful perspective of how consumers shop and pay.

MasterCard has identified 10 transformations that will drive the evolution of e-commerce in the next 3 years.


  1. Mobile devices will be the door to High Street.

The mobile screen will be a retail destination. It will give people on-the-go access to supermarkets, marketplaces, boutiques and niche stores. Securing prime real estate on the home screen is critical, as this is where the war for the consumer will be fought. On average, smartphone users regularly access only 26.7 apps per month out of more than a million available for download.

  1. Familiarity breeds consent.

Merchants that use transaction data in a secure and intelligent way will unlock the trust of the consumer. People will be able to choose to only receive offers that are relevant and of value to them. Companies that get the equation right will be given permission to access more touch points in people’s lives.

  1. Marketing will bring magic to micro-moments to drive transactions.

Advertising as we know it will be replaced by campaigns that respond to people’s immediate mental and emotional states. With the Digital & E-Commerce Engine, MasterCard is already seeing the effectiveness of similar targeted, real-time strategies.

  1. You’ll never shop alone.

Consumers will browse, rate and recommend products and services with friends and followers at all times. We already see an increase in partnerships between merchants and social platforms like Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest that make each shopping moment shareable with one-click. This taps into the growing dominance of influencer and peer marketing that consumers are growing accustomed to.


  1. Data will drive intent.

We will be prompted to shop for things even before we know we need them. Fridges will generate shopping lists based on consumption patterns and preferences, and your location will serve up the best deal for dinner. Shopping will be one component of a much larger digital ecosystem. Data gathered from operating systems and mobile devices will inform what we buy, when we buy and who we buy from.

  1. Service and rewards will be the killer apps.

Comparison shopping will make price table stakes. The merchants who deliver on their brand promise in a personalised and emotionally engaging way will earn the dollars and loyalty of consumers. Reward systems and CRM programmes will become critical for sustainable success.

  1. Every retailer will set up a digital shopfront.

Merchants of all sizes will be able to afford the assurance of secure payment transactions. Financial data management will be democratised by integrated operating systems developed by companies like MasterCard.


  1. Security in a heartbeat.

The use of biometric data from mobile and wearable devices will ensure constant identity authentication. This is already being explored with the use of facial recognition and electrocardiogram (ECG) technology.

  1. The consolidation of digital wallets.

With digital payments being progressively integrated on mobile phones, there will be less need to subscribe to a range of digital wallets (there are over 20 in India alone). Payment technology like MasterPass is enabling consumers, issuers and merchants to leapfrog to a secure digital payment network. This is happening through cutting edge technology in digitisation, tokenization and authentication of card information. At the same time, big digital players like Apple, Samsung and Android are using existing payment networks like MasterCard, integrated into their card- on-file systems.

  1. Faster checkouts, less fraud.

The consolidation within the digital payments industry, and the innovations in digitisation, tokenisation and authentication will mean that consumers experience a seamless check-out experience. This will also mean that merchants will not need to hold huge amounts of personal payment data which is making them a target for fraud.

Along with identifying key transformations impacting E-Commerce in the APAC marketplace, MasterCard highlights 6 case studies. The studies revealed how implementing strategies from the MasterCard Digital & E-Commerce Engine resulted in driving from engagement to transaction. While Asia Pacific was the regional focus of the white paper, countries with a similar economic growth can learn from the same transformations impacting the e-commerce industry in Asia.

The white paper can be downloaded here:

About MasterCard

MasterCard (NYSE: MA),, is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate the world’s fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. MasterCard’s products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone.