Shoppers seek deals in Asia

16 August 2011

SINAGPORE: Increasing numbers of shoppers in Asia Pacific are seeking out promotions on fast-moving consumer goods, a study by Nielsen, the research firm, has revealed.

Sales of FMCG products are rising rapidly in Vietnam but three-quarters of growth is due to inflation, and 90% of customers are thus looking for deals and switch brands and retailers based on the offers provided.

Totals on this metric reached 86% in Malaysia and 80% in China, as figures in all three markets posted meaningful increases when compared with previous studies in 2009 and 2008.

By contrast, although 61% of South Koreans agreed they found discounts and similar approaches attractive, this constituted a decline from around 70% in previous research.

It also fell below the average of 68%, recorded throughout Asia Pacific as a whole, according to the study.

"Shoppers are being exposed to a greater number of creative promotional offers as retailers and brand owners step up the momentum to gain share and/or retain their customers," said Peter Gale, managing director, retailer services, APMEA, at Nielsen.

"This level of activity is going to be the new 'norm' as long as inflation does not let up and as shoppers seek more value. The real opportunity however, lies in building shopper and brand loyalty."

Elsewhere, 88% of Indians knew the price of most items they bought regularly and noticed changes in this area, followed by 68% in Malaysia, 62% in Singapore and 56% in Vietnam.

More broadly, 98% of South Koreans and 94% of their Taiwanese counterparts plan shopping trips, falling to 33% in India, 30% in Hong Kong and 29% in the Philippines, and a regional average of 20%.

Consumers in Hong Kong make the highest amount of "top-up" trips to stores, at ten per month, doubling the norm across Asia Pacific, and three times the frequency of their "main" store visits.

Buyers in Singapore attend stores on eight different occasions a month to "top-up", standing at 6.6 trips in Indonesia, again trebling the number of "main" visits.

Male customers are also growing in importance, with 37% of Malaysian men now the primary shopper in their household, hitting 33% in the Philippines and 32% in China, but decreasing to just 4% in Vietnam.

Data sourced from Nielsen; additional content by Warc staff