Study finds Asian consumers lead in value-seeking shopping behaviour 59% of Asians used the Internet during the pre-purchase journey
Asian consumers outranked US counterparts in using digital media when considering purchases
Asian consumers are leading the way in looking for value according to the Global Retail Index commissioned by Microsoft Advertising and Aegis Media.
The global recession has affected the way consumers are shopping. More than ever they are looking for value and as a consequence, they are making further decisions and spending extra time shopping.
The study, undertaken by London-based Essential Research, zeroed in on four key retail sectors - groceries, apparel, home electronics, and fast food. It polled 19,000 shoppers across 17 countries in the USA, Asia, Europe and Latin America.
Most of the respondents (94 - 96%) across all four regions admitted that they were impacted by the recession. The study showed that this has
consequently given rise to ‘value seeking' shopping behaviour, with consumers going to great lengths to find better value buys.
Rather than taking a traditional approach when purchasing, post-recession value seekers are now looking for additional information from a variety of sources before they buy. And the main source for their research is the Internet.
Consumers across the globe said they were influenced by various Internet platforms - online and mobile advertising, forums and blogs, expert reviews and ‘something I read' online - when making purchase decisions.
For consumers in Asia, social networking scored high at the start of the purchase journey - for use in research in all product categories including
home electronics (40%), groceries (43%), apparel (40%) and fast food (41%).
"The use of social media allows consumers in Asia to have discussions with each other about the particular products they are thinking of buying.
There's a level of connectivity and trust in social relationships that plays an important part in the purchase decision cycle. This is more prevalent in Asia than other parts of the world," said Richard Dunmall, VP, Microsoft
Advertising Greater Asia Pacific and Americas.
Compared to the US, Asian consumers outranked their counterparts in using digital media when considering purchases:
* 59% of Asians used the Internet during the pre-purchase journey compared to 28% of consumers in the US.
* 45% of Asians used a mobile phone during purchase (in-store) compared to 25% of consumers in the US.
* 19% of Asians used digital media following post-purchase compared to 12% of consumers in the US.
This also shows that consumers in Asia are also more likely to change their mind on what to buy, when deciding to make a purchase compared to the American counterparts.
In Asia, as many as 81% of respondents admitted to changing their mind about what they wanted to purchase after doing research, while 72% said they changed their mind about a purchase when they used a mobile phone in store.
Digital media was also found to be an effective post-purchase influencer with 26% of respondents in Asia stating that they would make product
Nick Waters, CEO of Aegis Media Asia Pacific added that technology is rapidly changing consumers' relationships with brands.
"We are now in an inter-connected environment where consumers seek information from a variety of sources regardless of a brand's involvement. This makes it tricky for marketers - we need to listen more carefully and more frequently, and be able to adjust our approach in real time," he said.
With shoppers now accessing multiple screens for their purchase information anytime, anywhere on their PC, on the phone and on the web, Dunmall noted that this opens up more opportunities for marketers to reach consumers at several points along the way to influence their purchase decisions.
"Understanding consumers' online behaviour can help brands re-evaluate how they reach consumers at the right time and in the right way. As an immediate and fluid source of information, digital media is best placed to reach high-value consumers on a personal level," he added.
22 September 2010