This is double the figure from 2014, the year more people in the region used smartphones than feature phones.
Unlike in some Western countries, smartphone adoption in most countries in the region is driven by all age groups, according to Forrester analyst Katyayan Gupta.
Millennials are not leading the adoption, the uptake is evenly spread among millennials, Generation X and baby boomers, he points out in the Forrester report on Asia Pacific Mobile and Smartphone Adoption Forecast 2014 to 2019.
Brands need to have a strategy to serve all customer segments, notes Gupta.
Having a mobile website, a mobile app, or both will be the baseline for all brands operating in the region, he states.Read more: The ethics of big data is an industry concern: Dr Barry Devlin
But building a mobile touchpoint is not enough, he points out. “Your ability to win, serve, and retain customers will hinge on what digital services you build for smartphones and how they help customers along their entire journey with you.”
Helping consumers discover your brands “in their mobile moments” is a key step to succeed in this environment.
Consumers use their smartphones to search for a range of information, including products and locations. Forrester recommends building a mobile-optimised website, and even better, to build a responsive website to preserve the user experience.
This is particularly important, it says, with Google now showing “mobile friendly” labels in its mobile search results.Read more: NZ and NY Police target technologies of interest
“Empower customers to transact with you physically or digitally,” notes the report.
Build commerce capabilities into your mobile website and app so that customers can transact with you when they are ready. In order to win their confidence, it is critical to offer a secure payment method, advises Forrester.
If you can not immediately implement e-commerce functions, at least help them find the nearest store to complete the purchase.
“Use SMS or push notifications to update customers about order placement, delivery timelines, or even the distance to the store.”Read more: 10 'pain points' for global Boards - and how to tackle them
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