Google HK Managing Director Dominic Talks About Mobile

Google HK Managing Director Dominic Talks About Mobile
Comments Off, 13/11/2014, by , in Local Startup News

Google HK Managing Director Dominic Allon shares with EHK about the latest mobile trend in Hong Kong. 

New research reveals that brands needs to get creative to engage and connect with consumers across screens

Google facts

The latest research Consumer Barometer shows that Hong Kongers are now using an average of almost three (2.7) devices each to get online; one of the highest in the world. The research also suggests that the multi-screen trend is gaining ground fast.  Hong Kongers are now among the most prolific “multi-screeners” in Asia, and the world, with one third (31%) of people regularly going online with three devices – smartphones, tablets and computers.

The consumer barometer research was carried out by TNS (Taylor Nelson Sofres) and Google. It is a free tool to gain understanding of how people use the internet around the world, and across devices. It includes insights and findings from 150,000 consumers across 56 countries, including Hong Kong.

Hong Kongers are multi-screening

On top of having an average of 2.7 devices each, the study shows that one third of people have more than four devices (31%) and some even have up to nine devices (1%).

And it’s not just about smartphones – Hong Kong is using various devices. Tablets play increasingly important part across all age groups, with 34% of Hong Kongers now using the device. This is compared with just 13% in Taiwan, and 11% in China.

And when it comes to the bigger screen, though traditional TV is still king in Hong Kong, almost half of people (46%) multi-task on other devices while watching the box.  Hong Kongers are among the most likely in Asia, and the world, to be looking at something that is not related to the TV show they’re watching (94%).

Dominic Allon, Managing Director of Google, says: “Hong Kong is at the forefront of the multi-screen trend. Brands need to be able to understand and measure this behavior, and create new ways to engage their consumers.”

Google HK Dominic Allon

At Google’s office, Google HK Managing Director Dominic Allon explains Hong Kong’s latest mobile trend.

Smart and Savvy Shoppers

In the new multi-screen landscape, Hong Kongers are becoming increasingly savvy shoppers. The research shows 63% of respondents used a blend of online and offline to research their last purchase, one of the highest in the region. It also shows the growing importance of online to the shopping experience. Before buying, over half (56%) go online to compare products, prices and features, and a third (29%) use the web to get opinions and reviews. On top of that, 27% heard about the last product purchased through online advertising.

When it comes to purchasing online, the Barometer suggests that speed and ease are top of the agenda in Hong Kong, with ‘urgent need’ the most common reason for buying online (25%). Hong Kongers are using many of their devices to buy online, but the majority still choose the computer (75%), and just 15% and 7% use their smartphone and tablet respectively.

From the research, 74% of Hong Konger will search online during their purchase journey, with 35% going on brand websites, 26% on retailer websites, and 18% on price comparison websites. Despite the growing trend to search and shop online, only 30% actually make the purchase online, still preferring to buy in-store. There is still a gap in Hong Kong’s online purchase journey, which present a great opportunity for ecommerce and online shopping.

Mobile First to Mobile Only

In the increasingly multi-device landscape, smartphone naturally plays a critical role in the mix. Adoption has soared to an all time high in Hong Kong; now at 74% compared to 63% in 2013 – one of the world’s highest. And there’s a new breed of ‘smartphone monogamists’  - well over one in ten people (14%) in Hong Kong use no other device to surf the web, compared to just 3% in Japan and 6% in the UK.

But the research also showed that Hong Kongers are facing challenges when it comes to mobile shopping; over a third (39%) admit that they often struggle to use a brand’s website via mobile.

“Consumers here have evolved and brands and businesses in Hong Kong need to wake up fast. Not having a good mobile site is like closing the blinds on your shop window during opening hours. Mobile experiences have to be as good, if not better than, desktop. Businesses should engage with the consumers the moment they start searching, and on the screens where they spend most of their time,” says Allon. 

About the research

The consumer barometer research was carried out by TNS (Taylor Nelson Sofres) and Google across 56 countries (with at least 1,000 adults per country), involving over 150,000 respondents, covering: digital building blocks (device usage and online access), media and device usage (online activities, drill downs on smartphone, video use), and path-to-purchase (online role in shopping decisions for many product categories). More information can be found at

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