Keeping up with the Centennials buying habits

Buying habits of Centennials, it’s all about shopping on social media platforms

Dentsu Aegis Network, in collaboration with Econsultancy, today launched Here Comes the Centennial: Southeast Asia’s New Generation of Shoppers, a white paper investigating the online buying behaviour of centennials in the region.

Launched on the sidelines of FUTR Asia 2018 Summit, the study finds that, despite the surge in online shopping, cash is still king for centennials in the digital age, and shopping on social media platforms is the new norm.

Despite being digital natives, the concept of a cashless society has yet to fully take off for centennials in six countries surveyed, as 56% of survey respondents still prefer paying cash on delivery for their purchases.

The next generation of online shoppers also enjoy having a variety of payment methods, as 43% of centennials will readily abandon their purchases because their preferred payment option is not available.

Having grown up in the smartphone era, centennials are also using social media platforms differently compared to previous generations in their buying journey.

Social media applications (47%) such as Facebook and Instagram are the second most popular place for centennials to shop in.

Close to half of the survey respondents (49%) also turn to social media when they are researching for more information on their future purchases, rather than asking friends (45%) and family (27%).

Dentsu Aegis Network Asia Pacific CEO Nick Waters said: “All eyes are on Southeast Asia as the world’s next consumer powerhouse, with its young population and increasing purchasing power. Close to 280 million centennials are in this region.

Enabled more than ever before by technology and data, we are seeing incredible potential for growth in the region and our latest research ‘Here Comes the Centennial: Southeast Asia’s New Generation of Shoppers’, helps us understand what is important for these consumers and how businesses can adapt and position effectively for Southeast Asia’s future retail landscape.”

Brand names and image are no longer a priority for retailers with only 11% citing a prestigious brand as one of their top three attributes.

This means retailers need to work harder to get their brand experience perfect in order to capture the attention of tomorrow’s consumers.

The centennials, who are also known as Generation Z are those born between now and 1995. Accounting for about 277 million of Southeast Asia’s population, 50% of centennials spend more than USD30 a month on online shopping, while 9% spend over USD100 monthly.

The size of this new generation alone makes them attractive for retailers, but the behaviour of this group makes them lucrative in terms of its online shopping and e-commerce potential.

This new generation will also soon be one of the world’s most demanding consumers who have high standards and expectations of the online shopping experience.

Technology should be an integral part of this experience, as 82% of centennials are excited about futuristic shopping technology such as virtual reality.

Personalisation is key as well, as 76% of respondents are happy to share data with websites, if it makes more relevant recommendations.

Econsultancy Asia Pacific managing director Jefrey Gomez said, “Centennials are coming of age in an era when high speed internet is always available, and they expect technology and brand experiences that are fast, responsive, and seamless.

The survey showed that 86% of centennials will not use an app or website that takes too long to load and 82% will not use an app or website that is difficult to navigate.

This means that retailers can therefore no longer just provide well-designed stores or rely solely on brand campaigns to drive sales. Instead they need to focus on the utility of their online offering to make the purchasing journey easy to complete.

The survey was conducted on 3,000 online shoppers aged between 16 to 23 in Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.


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Held for the first time in Malaysia, the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Awards is here to reward the best in the business of marketing.

This award is to identify talent, transparency, tenacity and a take-charge attitude of deserving marketers. An eminent panel of industry leaders will decide on the winners.

There are 30 categories up for grabs at this year’s awards:

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