SINGAPORE: Nearly 60% of shoppers in Asia Pacific now prioritise value for money when making purchases, and almost half are focusing on "quality over quantity", a study has revealed.

GfK, the research firm, polled 37,500 people from 25 nations, breaking out the results for eight markets in Asia Pacific: Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand.

It discovered that 58% of participants from these countries thought the most important characteristic of a brand was providing strong value for money.

A further 43% agreed they would rather own fewer products if it meant all of the offerings in their possession were of demonstrably high quality.

Jodie Roberts, Asia Pacific regional director, GfK Consumer Trends, said: "In order to succeed moving forward, it is important for businesses to realise that consumers are becoming more selective in their purchases."

As additional evidence of this, some 42% of interviewees researched products before making a big acquisition, peaking at 66% in India, then 53% in Taiwan and 47% in Thailand.

Similarly, a 36% share of respondents wanted stores and services to be "available all the time", reflecting an "always on" mentality emerging across the region.

"Technology today is becoming very mobile, increasingly personalized and more on-demand, raising consumer expectations going forward," said Roberts.

"Consumers are expecting to have access to goods, services and entertainment around-the-clock and on-the-go, delivered wherever and whenever they dictate and in a format they demand."

Indeed, a 55% majority of the sample felt they needed to be constantly "reachable", such as through smartphones or the web. India posted 68% here, topping Indonesia on 65% and China on 63%.

"In 2013, the continued diffusion of smartphones, tablets and the 4G network will ensure that more and more time-pressured consumers everywhere will get to enjoy an increased ability to stay informed and in touch on the move," Roberts added.

"They will consequently demand the products and services that they consume to keep up with their expectations."

Data sourced from GfK; additional content by Warc staff