ASIA PACIFIC: Wealthy Asian travellers like to shop for global luxury brands when abroad and to plan ahead, but new research shows that two thirds end up buying brands they've never heard of before.

The Asian Nomads study, from Publicis Media and Publicis Communications surveyed 5,800 luxury consumers across ten markets in Asia Pacific (China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Korea).

This found that one in four Asian travellers planned their purchases at item level while still at home; one in three affluent Asian consumers planned in even more in detail – deciding in advance the brand and the specific item they want to buy.

This pre-planning routine varied across categories, however. For instance, 24% of Asian shoppers carried out purchase planning for non-high investment items like souvenirs, wine, liquor and sports apparel, while 22% planned brand purchases across leather, sports apparel and liquor; almost one third (32%) planned brand and item across the same categories.

But these efforts don't always withstand the actual travel experience. "Just because your brand made it to their shopping list, doesn't mean the path to purchase has been cemented!" said Bertilla Teo, CEO Publicis Media, Greater China.

"Our data suggests that approximately 66% of affluent Asian travellers change their mind and end up not purchasing one or more brands that were in their list,"

Furthermore, roughly the same percentage of respondents (65%) reported purchasing a new brand – one they did not know before their trip – with millennials most likely to do so.

While 25% of affluent Asian travellers will look for information about global brands while preparing their trip, only 16% will look for information regarding local designers.

"Asian shoppers shop in different countries to experience how people live and play," Teo noted, adding that global brands "are still the most powerful magnet for affluent Asians who are planning to travel abroad".

"The most profitable way in reaching luxury consumers is in upping the digital game with multiple opportunities to reach Asian travellers on-the-go with influential own-language content," the report said.

Data sourced from Publicis; additional content by WARC staff