SINGAPORE, 12 November 2013 – PwC has launched a global study in a bid to better understand how local culture and practices in developing Asia drive different types of purchase decisions and reveal features in the retail shopping experience that would inspire consumers to pay a premium. The landmark study also provides cultural insights and customer experience learnings that can inform other industries (non-retail) seeking to push their brands into new markets.
Titled PwC Experience Radar 2013: Lessons from the Global Retail Apparel industry, the study surveyed nearly 3,700 shoppers from large city locales across developed (the US, the Netherlands, and Singapore) and developing (China, India, Indonesia and Malaysia) countries. Respondents were a mix of more affluent consumers and the survey took into account their shopping frequency, spend and preferences.
Said Michiel van Selm, Director, Customer & Growth Practice of PwC Southeast Asia Consulting,
“With the continued growth of Asia’s developing economies, an unprecedented proportion of the region’s population is moving up the socio-economic ladder. These rapidly expanding Asian economies are shaping the global economy. Newly affluent Asian consumers are not only spending more, they are also spending in ways different from their counterparts in more developed countries.”
PwC’s Experience Radar study is a specialised approach to customer projects which aims to uncover what customers value and translate that into actionable insights, economics and metrics by using an advanced primary research technique – adaptive choice based conjoint – which mimics and measures the actual decision making process.
The study shows 3 major findings where Asian customers differ significantly from shoppers in the US and Europe:
1. The outsized importance of brand
Two-thirds of shoppers in developing Asia agree that access to leading branded goods is the heart and soul of their ideal apparel shopping experience. These newly affluent consumers place so much value on it that they are four times more willing to pay for access to branded apparel than shoppers in developed nations.
What this means for businesses
2. Other people’s opinions matter—a lot more
Family and friends are the foundation of society in developing Asia. Relationships influence all aspects of culture, including shopping. To inform their decision-making, people create their own trust structures that combine their network of friends and family with influencers such as celebrities and blogs. People value the opinion of those they trust to drive their position on the social ladder.
What this means for businesses
3. Digital channels are a much more integrated part of the shopping experience as shoppers leapfrog a 1.0 retail experience
Seeking better access to branded merchandise and better shopping experiences, most developing Asia shoppers are shopping online—surpassing even their developed-country counterparts. Nine out of ten shoppers in developing Asia browse or buy online (versus fewer than 8 in 10 for developed countries). Online experiences can provide the richer, more robust, and more personalized shopping experiences that customers in developing Asia crave. Shoppers are using their smartphones to check prices and reviews in-store, spending an average of 15 minutes online per store visit. One in three customers want to access enhanced product information via in-store tablets.
What this means for your business