Online shopping

Online shopping habits remain even as consumers return to physical stores, meta-survey finds

Mobile, social and immersive experiences influence mega-sales in Asia Pacific, New Meta study finds.

Consumers are returning to physical stores, but the digital shopping habits formed during the pandemic remain relevant, according to new data released by Meta that revealed an equal reliance on mobile. According to the report, 67% of year-end shoppers surveyed said they discover new products in-store and 66% said they discover new products on their phone.

For Gen Xers and Baby Boomers, mobile as a discovery channel rose five points to 58%. Overall, 7 out of 10 shoppers surveyed said they would spend more or the same as last year.

“Brands need to start building for discovery and being part of established consideration long before Mega Sale Days. Brands also need to meet people where they are,” said Dan Neary, vice president of the Asia-Pacific at Meta.

“We recommend four key pathways to engage authentically. First, brands need to be social and mobile-first and deliver personalized advertising experiences. Second, buyers need to be able to connect directly with brands via instant messaging. Third, brands need to create immersive experiences through augmented reality, live shopping, and trusted creators.Finally, find creative ways to communicate your brand values ​​and purpose.”

The Meta Seasonal Holidays study, which was conducted by YouGov, surveyed 18,189 people in 12 APAC markets about their year-end shopping habits and attitudes from December 1-24, 2021 across 12 APAC markets.

Five New Consumer Shopping Trends During End-of-Year Mega Sale Days

  • Mega Sale Days stimulate the discovery and consideration of new products. 94% of year-end shoppers surveyed are likely to try a new brand, particularly in the following categories: apparel and fashion (46%), food (46%) and electronics (41%). 66% of all year-end shoppers enjoyed discovering relevant items they weren’t actively looking for.
  • Consumer buying behavior changes through the different Mega Sale Days. In Asia Pacific, Mega Sale Days span the calendar year. 12.12 and 11.11 are the most popular Mega Sale Days, with 79% and 77% of year-end shoppers surveyed respectively. Product category biases are also noted – for 12.12, sales are biased towards preparing for the festive season, with shoppers buying clothing and fashion (39%) and health and beauty (27% ). For 11.11, sales are biased towards purchases for clothing and fashion (38%) and food (31%).
  • Gen Z and Millennials are buying more on social platforms. 40% of respondents have discovered and purchased on social platforms, and 61% of them generally belong to Gen Z and Millennials. 89% of social shoppers have made a spontaneous discovery while shopping online. They are 1.3x more likely to buy on mobile compared to a non-social shopper. 67% of social shoppers purchased a product they discovered through a personalized ad. Additionally, 66% of social shoppers surveyed are more likely to trust a brand that partners with a trusted creator and influencer.
  • Entertaining and immersive experiences influence purchase decisions at Mega Sale Days. Social media is a powerful engine of discovery through personal connections and recommendations (74%), sponsored content (66%) and video content (56%). 77% of social shoppers surveyed have watched or are open to a live shopping event online, with shoppers moving from awareness to purchase in a single session. Augmented reality (AR) technologies also have a strong influence on shoppers, with 81% of them believing that augmented reality tools have an influence on their purchasing decisions.
  • Cross-border shoppers start shopping earlier, rely on instant commerce messaging and focus on brand equity. 55% of surveyed APAC shoppers have made a cross-border purchase, with 33% of APAC cross-border shoppers starting their purchases earlier (by the end of November) than regular shoppers. 70% of APAC cross-border shoppers messaged a business by year-end. They said the convenience and instant responses of communicating with a live person were the top reasons for messaging a business. Brand values ​​are particularly important to APAC cross-border shoppers, with 46% interested in socially responsible brands, ethical/fair business practices (42%) and sustainability (41%).

The APAC portion of the survey covers Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Philippines, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Australia, Japan, South Korea and Pakistan. Globally, the online study commissioned by Meta surveyed 52,055 people aged 18 and over in 34 markets.

In-depth dives into country-specific reports can be found here.

Image: Arturo Rey via Unsplash