Sophie Chen
Jul 4, 2013

Price still top influencer in Singapore and Malaysia: Nielsen

SINGAPORE – Singaporeans are less influenced by commercials, while Malaysian consumers are the most price-sensitive in Asia-Pacific, according to Nielsen's Global Survey of Consumer Shopping Behaviour.

Deals and promotions are more likely to win over Singaporeans and Malaysians
Deals and promotions are more likely to win over Singaporeans and Malaysians

The survey was conducted between 10 August and 7 September last year of more than 29,000 online consumers in 58 countries throughout Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and North America.

The findings showed that 81 per cent of Malaysian consumers ranked price as the most important factor when they make purchasing decisions, which exceeded the regional average for Asia Pacific by 17 points.

Consumers in Malaysia regarded price particularly important when shopping for clothes and shoes (49 per cent), followed by home appliances and cars (both 45 per cent), mobile phones (44 per cent), personal electronics and household products (42 per cent). The product quality (79 per cent) is slightly less important for Malaysian consumers than price.

The survey also revealed that the majority of consumers in Singapore shopped around before purchasing a product (71 per cent) and regard price as one of the most important criteria (68 per cent) when shopping. The importance of product quality for Singaporean consumers ranked well below the Asia Pacific average (69 per cent compared to 83 per cent).

Singaporeans also regarded price particularly important when shopping for clothes and shoes (51 per cent), followed by home appliances (47 per cent), personal electronics (44 per cent), household products (43 per cent) and mobile phones (40 per cent).

The survey found that an overwhelming majority of Malaysian (95 per cent) and Singaporean (92 per cent) consumers compare unit prices and actively looked for deals when in-store, using promotional leaflets/flyers (85 per cent and 80 per cent) or coupons (80 per cent and 77 per cent) on at least some shopping trips.

Malaysians (68 per cent) are usually aware of promotions or discounts before undertaking a shopping trip, while 49 per cent of Singaporeans do the same, and 56 percent of them collect related product information and opinions for reference before shopping. More than three quarters (78 per cent) of consumers in Singapore purchase products from end-aisle displays in the store.

“Consumers are bombarded with choice in retail outlets,” said Richard Hall, country manager at Nielsen Malaysia. “From thousands of fast-moving consumer goods to dozens of retails channels, cutting through the clutter is where we find and fulfil unmet needs. Consumers here are constantly seeking out the lowest prices and great sales or promotions.”

“We see a tendency among Singaporean consumers to shop around, compare prices and seek out promotions, both before and during the shopping trip,” said Ajit Rodrigues, head of consumer packaged goods at Nielsen Singapore. “Once the shoppers enter the store they are more likely to exhibit ‘discerning behaviour’ like comparing prices and offers within the store or even across stores. It is little surprise then that price and promotions have a huge bearing on their purchase decisions.”

The findings also showed only 49 per cent of Singaporean consumers say commercials increases their preference for a brand, compared to average 67 per cent of Asia Pacific consumers. However, consumers in Australia (32 per cent), New Zealand (32 per cent) and Japan (34 per cent) are the least influenced by commercials.

Advertising via commercials was particularly influential in Asia Pacific markets such as South Korea (79 per cent) and the Philippines (78 per cent).

Rodrigues pointed out that brands with deals and promotions are more likely to win over Singaporeans. “With strong up-take of connected devices in Singapore, targeted digital advertising also has a growing role to play when it comes to delivering brand messages,” he said.

The survey found that less than one third (31 per cent) of Malaysians is willing to pay more for designer products and 37 per cent of them are drawn to high-profile brands, substantially lower than the Asia Pacific average (61 per cent and 55 per cent).

Two thirds of Malaysian consumers (66 per cent) say they often get shopping ideas when exposed to commercials and 62 per cent of them are influenced by commercials when comes to brand preference, seven points above the global average of 55 per cent.

“New and emerging media platforms are enabling greater targeting and it is becoming increasingly important for brands to leverage these platforms in order to succeed,” Rodrigues said. “Both brand owners and retailers stand to gain much by partnering to create digital platforms and in-store activation, enhancing brand equity in the long term.”

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