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Tuesday 13 July 2010

Online Shopping Rising in Asia with 60% of Shoppers Influenced by Social Media

By Kristie Thong, Marketing Magazine. 13th July 2010.
  • Asia Pacific consumers most active online shoppers
  • Online-only retail sites most popular
  • 60% use social media sites to make purchasing decisions
Consumers in the Asia Pacific are the world's most active online shoppers, with more than a third indicating they spend 11% of their monthly shopping expenditures online.

A recent global Online Shopping Report by The Nielsen Company finds Asia Pacific consumers direct more of their shopping expenditure online than the global average. 35% of Asia Pacific consumers direct 11% to online spend, as compared to the 27% global average. Only 13% of Asia Pacific consumers say they had never shopped online, compared to 16% globally.

Online-only retail sites are most popular among Asia Pacific online consumers, with close to one third of them reporting to have made online purchases from retail sites with an online-only presence. Meanwhile, 30% say they frequent sites which allowed them to select products from many different stores.

"Technology and the Internet will very likely fundamentally change how and where shoppers spend their money and interact with retailers," says Pete Gale, managing director of Nielsen's Retailer Services in APIMEA and Greater China.

"Increasingly, as consumers look for more convenience and 24/7 access to products and services, this is a great opportunity for retailers to redefine their channel strategy in order to meet the changing needs and wants of consumers."

Sixty percent of Asia Pacific consumers use social media sites to help them make purchase decisions, compared to 43% globally. Asia Pacific consumers indicate that online reviews and opinions are most important when purchasing consumer electronics, cosmetics and cars.

Asia Pacific consumers are also most likely to share a negative product experience online, with 49% saying they are more likely to give a negative review than a positive experience. This tendency is highest among consumers in China (62%), Vietnam (46%), Singapore and India (both 44%).

"Any organisation offering a consumer product or service in today's marketplace is open to scrutiny from every angle, and it is critical that these organisations not only understand those consumers, but effectively engage and communicate with them," advises Megan Clarken, Asia Pacific managing director of Nielsen's online division.

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