Infographic: Understanding Asia’s Digital Consumer

Experian thumbnail

( – Did you know that the biggest driver of online-to-offline (O2O) conversions is with email in Singapore; SMS in Indonesia; chat apps in China; social media in Malaysia and Thailand and video ads in Hong Kong?

These were some of the many insights shared by Experian and International Data Corporation (IDC) in their latest report to help businesses better understand Asia’s digital consumers.

What do Asian online users prefer?

The Digital Consumer View 2016 (Asia) report reveals how consumer behaviour varies across the key Asian markets of Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Hong Kong, and China, based on surveys with over 1,200 digital consumers.

It maps significant differences in how consumers research, locate, engage with and purchase products and services. These differences exist across channels (SMS, app notifications, email, social media, chat apps), devices (smart phone, feature phone, Wi-Fi/cellular tablet, wearable) and content (ads in email, ads in mobile apps, ads in social media, video ads on websites, and search ads). The findings highlight the complexity of reaching digital consumers in Asia across many channels, but also discuss how crucial that is.

Jeff Price, Managing Director of Southeast Asia at Experian, notes that while the region is fast-growing, consumer behaviour in each market has unique disparities. Businesses today cannot succeed without intelligent insights based on consumer data.

“Asia is in the midst of a great digital revolution, with an explosion of smart devices, social media interactions and e-commerce transactions. The beneficiary of this interconnectivity is clearly the digital consumer, and also the businesses serving them. While this evolution has greatly enabled and empowered both sides, it has also challenged businesses to be more effective and targeted in the way they communicate and market to this modern, digital-savvy consumer.”

“For companies to keep up with digital consumer behaviours – how they act on information – it’s absolutely vital to adopt and leverage what their consumers are providing them with every day – invaluable data. Businesses slow to act on this data will see their competitive advantage erode,” Jeff shared.

Experian DCV Region

Key Findings in the Region

Key findings from the report:

Search and discovery: Social media is the top channel in Singapore (31%), Malaysia (49%), Indonesia (67%) and Thailand (58%). It’s equally important as chat apps in China (47%); in Hong Kong, video ads (63%) trumps all.

Triggering product interest: Social media, once again, is the key driver in Singapore (28%), Malaysia (44%), Thailand (49%) and Hong Kong (25%). However, in Indonesia it’s SMS (62%), and in China, it is chat apps (48%).

Experian DCV Malaysia Channel effectiveness in consumer buying cycle

The Malaysian Online Consumer’s buying cycle

Triggering purchase intent: Email is the biggest driver of online to offline conversion in Singapore (27%); SMS tops in Indonesia (57%); chat apps in China (45%); social media in Malaysia (44%) and Thailand (51%); and video ads tie with social media in Hong Kong (23%).

Finding good deals: For unplanned purchases stemming from promotions, email leads in Singapore (34%); social media in Malaysia (50%), Indonesia (68%) and Thailand (58%); SMS in Hong Kong (36%), and social media in China (51%).

Brand engagement: Email is key for marketers to build engagement in Singapore (58%) and Thailand (60%); chat apps in Malaysia (62%) and China (70%); banner ads in Indonesia (56%), and SMS in Hong Kong (61%). While email is important, marketers need to be wary: more than 70% of consumers reported receiving too many emails, up from 52% in 2015.

Experian DCV Region The consumer journey

Key Learnings for Marketers in Asia

• Over-reliance on a single marketing channel will not work. Depending on the country and its current state of digital sophistication, marketers need to think carefully about the right mix of channels to employ.

Experian DCV Region The rise of omni channel engagement 1
The rise of omni-channel engagement

• Quality over quantity. Consumer preferences for receiving promotional material varies from market to market, and by specific use cases. On a broader level, more is not necessarily better. A relevant and targeted message will ensure better conversion. Too much, and consumers are inclined to unsubscribe, delete, or mark content as spam.

• The quality and integrity of data are crucial for marketers to find success. A significant number of consumers across the region either knowingly or unknowingly provide inaccurate information, which in turn causes errors and inaccuracies in marketer’s data sets. Around 27 percent of consumers in China but only 10 percent in Singapore unknowingly input wrong payment details; 40 percent of consumers in China, and over 20 percent of consumers in the rest of the region provide a wrong address at online checkout.

Experian DCV Region Prefered communication channels

A comparison of key learnings and insights by market

 Experian key insights

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