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Christmas Marketing

Holiday shopping habits: Singaporeans go for deals, while Australians love festive shopping


By Charlotte McEleny, Asia Editor

November 8, 2019 | 4 min read

Research by Rakuten Marketing has revealed that the habits around holiday shopping vary dramatically between different markets in Asia Pacific.

Christmas Shopping

Christmas Shopping trends in APAC

The research revealed Australians and South Koreans categorised their shopping habits most often as ‘holiday shoppers’ (28% and 30% respectively). Holiday shoppers tend to buy all the gifts they need once November hits, with a smaller lead time on purchasing.

By comparison, Chinese shoppers bought throughout the year and categorised themselves as ‘sporadic shoppers’ (38%). For Singaporeans, deals and bargains drove buying decisions as most Singaporeans said they were ‘bargain hunters’ when it came to holiday shopping. With the 11.11, or Singles Day, sale coming up, closely followed by Black Friday and Cyber Weekend, it’s prime time to catch deal-focused buyers.

Commenting on the findings, Anthony Capano, international managing director at Rakuten Marketing, said: “Marketers must remember that ‘shopper profiles’ change at this time of year - instead of buying for themselves, people are buying for others. For brands, this means engaging audiences outside of the traditional customer base, often through new tactics and channels.”

In terms of how responsive people were to adverts, Chinese consumers were the most responsive and Australians the least. According to the research, some 44% of Chinese consumers said they find holiday advertisements very helpful when purchasing gifts. On the other end of the spectrum, only 15% of Australians find holiday advertising useful and a further 23% indicated they find it annoying.

Deals were unanimously the most influential tactic for gaining the attention of consumers, with all countries averaging at 33% across APAC. Another unifying factor across consumers in Singapore, South Korea and China was that people prefer to make transactions via mobile (31%, 45% and 51% respectively). The top apps used in each country to make these mobile purchases include WeChat in China (69%), Facebook in Singapore (45%) and Kakao Talk in South Korea (40%).

Despite this, in Australia, the preference is to shop in-store for purchases (52%), while almost 49% said they didn’t use mobile apps to buy gifts.

“Now more than ever it’s important for brands and advertisers to connect online with offline to make the most seamless shopping experience for consumers. This new research by Rakuten Marketing aims to give marketers the best relevant, up-to-date information so that they can create effective and efficient strategies this gift-giving season.”

Uncertain economic conditions are driving caution in gift spending, according to the research. Some 42% of Australians remain optimistic indicating no significant change in their plans for spending these holidays. However, 49% of South Koreans indicated they will spend less money on gifts this holiday season and 36% of Chinese and Singaporean consumers have already reduced their spending during the holiday gift shopping periods.

On average, the majority of consumers across all surveyed countries are looking to spend approximately AUD $100 - $499 on holiday gifts. Most Singaporeans and South Koreans are looking to buy gifts for three to five people (44% and 45% respectively) while Australian consumers are looking to buy for between five to ten people (65%) and Chinese consumers only buying for one or two (50%).

To keep up to date with the holiday ads from around the globe, the Drum has launched a hub for 2019 creative ads.

Christmas Marketing

Content created with:

Rakuten Marketing

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