KUALA LUMPUR: As Christmas approaches, brands should be aware that Asia’s mobile consumers spend more via Facebook in the final three months of the year, although spending and social habits differ across markets.

In Malaysia, for example, purchases made via Facebook are on average 88% higher in the fourth quarter than the rest of the year, while other markets also witness spending increases in Q4 – Thailand (70%), Singapore (61%) and Indonesia (48%).

That is according to Facebook’s analysis of regional consumer behaviour on its platform during Q4 2016 and shared with businesses to help them reach online consumers more effectively this year, Tech Wire Asia reported.

“With Southeast Asia being pegged as the new frontier for e-commerce, it is critical for consumer goods businesses to act now and start implementing the right e-commerce strategy for their brand or category,” said Nicole Tan, Facebook Malaysia Country Director.

“Businesses that connect with people before they even begin looking are going to be ahead in the race. This is about spotting ‘unexpected customers’ who aren’t even searching for your products and services.”

The Facebook insights found it is important to prepare brand campaigns in plenty of time before the main holiday shopping season kicks off.

For example, as early as September, online purchases via Facebook in Singapore were 22% higher than the yearly average in 2016.

Brands are also advised to engage in “social listening” at an early stage because Facebook users very often discuss products with their friends and family – and they converse more about shopping as the holiday season approaches.

Facebook users in Singapore and Indonesia started posting more comments about shopping as early as October last year, while Malaysian, Thai and Vietnamese consumers tended to hold off until November.

Not surprisingly, December is the busiest shopping month on Facebook, but the company specifically identified December 12 as the most popular shopping day.

Compared with the yearly average, the Facebook data showed that 2.7 times more purchases were made on that day in some countries across Southeast Asia.

Facebook also advised that the shopping season now extends into the New Year and said online purchases made via Facebook in January last year were 36% higher than the average for 2016.

Sourced from Tech Wire Asia; additional content by WARC staff