A Reprise study of consumer behavior in Asia Pacific has found ecommerce marketplaces have become the top shopping platform for consumers, but direct-to-consumer (DTC) websites are on the rise as shoppers trust brand websites more.
When APAC consumers were asked why they prefer shopping in marketplaces, the top two reasons were cheaper prices (58%) and deals and promotions (35%). When shopping on fashion and beauty marketplaces, trusted brands and wider product ranges become more important for consumers.
Customer support and loyalty programmes on ecommerce marketplaces are of increasing importance to consumers who are attracted to perks such as points accumulation (55%), and priority shipping (41%).
Consumers who prefer to engage with DTC brands and buy on their websites do so because they consider consumer brands to be more trusted, authentic and having a wider variety of products. Consumers are also significantly less price-sensitive when shopping on consumer brands' websites.
“With 58% of consumers buying something online every week, there has never been a more interesting or exciting time in ecommerce. Our APAC region hosts three of the top five markets for global ecommerce sales; China, Japan and South Korea, with Singapore currently accelerating as the fastest growing market,” said Pippa Berlocher, the president for APAC at Reprise.
Here are key highlights from the study:
- 62% of consumers in APAC are less than 44 years of age and more than half claim to be mid- to high-income. One in four claim to be in the high-income bracket and 70% claim to be careful shoppers.
- The ageing Asian population spending is expected to reach over $5 trillion by 2030. This group likes to shop offline, and are generally resistant towards quick commerce platforms which they consider to be more expensive, and pose potential safety concerns.
- While fashion continues to dominate online purchases at 77%, high-ticket categories like personal electronics (73%), consumer electronics (63%), and kitchen appliances (59%) are all now predominately bought online. Auto and auto parts are the only exception (33%).
- APAC consumers have become mission-orientated, and are usually shopping during sales and festive seasons. This behaviour is seen across segments; both ‘fun’ and ‘careful’ shoppers, as well as across income groups. While APAC shoppers are mostly found online, physical retail still serves a purpose. Purchasing in a physical retail store is driven by specificity or by urgency.
- 5% of APAC shoppers still prefer a physical retail experience for the ability to touch and feel the product, and to ask questions of a salesperson.
- At least 77% of APAC shoppers use emerging tech like live chat, AR, VR, and online catalogues when shopping.
- Consumers in Japan (48%), South Korea (60%), Hong Kong (52%), Singapore (53%) and Australia (56%) rely heavily on credit and debits cards as a preferred payment method.
- Consumers in India (21%), Philippines (46%), Malaysia (38%), Thailand (22%), and Vietnam (34%) prioritise cash, but these markets also looks towards more homegrown solutions like e-wallets (21%).