Singapore, 16 September 2020  Rakuten Advertising, the global leader of performance marketing, media and consumer insights, reported that 75% of consumers across Asia-Pacific prefer brands that offer discounts and benefits to frontline health workers, and 73% stated they want brands to communicate with compassion and empathy during this time.

The research, The Road to Recovery: 2020 e-Commerce in Asia-Pacific, which surveyed over 5,000 people from across the Asia-Pacific region, also reported that more than half of Asia-Pacific consumers who chose to shop internationally this year, chose Chinese retailers as their top choice for making international purchases.

A majority of Asia-Pacific consumers prefer to purchase from international retailers for more innovative products and faster access to new items. However, 63% of Singaporeans claim that high international shipping costs is a deterrent from completing an online purchase.

The opportunity of shopping online from the comforts of being home, have resulted in more people discovering new brands overseas. 78% of Chinese consumers opted to shop from international brands because they believe overseas retailers offer more genuine and authentic products, whereas 87% of Malaysians chose international sites for a greater selection of goods.

Increasingly, more Asia-Pacific consumers are discovering new brands through online search (64%) compared to recommendations from friends and family (40%) which, traditionally, have been the most reliable source.

Majority of Asia-Pacific consumers (72%) also closely follow influencers and bloggers, with Indian, Chinese and Malaysian shoppers stating that they are highly likely to be influenced by these content creators.

Rakuten Advertising’s Senior Vice President of Asia-Pacific, Stuart McLennan, commented on how retailers can identify the opportunities to enable them to ride out the challenges brought about as a result of COVID-19.

“Whilst the pandemic has unfortunately resulted in more consumers being confined to their homes or  geographical locations, online services such as food and grocery delivery, ‘buy online pick-up in-store’ and video-on-demand (VOD) have, undoubtedly, gained popularity, with consumers showing that these new habits are likely here to stay.”

He continued, “Retailers should ensure they are complementing their online presence with a strong and tailored digital strategy to enable brand discovery and encourage conversion. Understanding the consumer behaviour of Asia-Pacific shoppers, addressing the nuances of each market and adapting for the online and mobile experience will be key to success.”

Additionally as e-commerce continues to blur the line between international borders, it is more important than ever for brands to tailor their marketing messages and shopping experience to each market and look to reach consumers through the right channels and partners.

Rakuten Advertising has conducted this survey of 5,000 consumers across the Asia-Pacific region to identify shopping peaks in 2020. To download the full report of “Road to Recovery: 2020 e-Commerce in Asia Pacific”, please click here.

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