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Report on the online buying power

of female consumers in Asia

Vipshop Holdings Limited, one of the largest online dis-  Women have a variety of reasons to prefer online
count retailers for brands globally and No.1 female- shopping. Most point to cost (62%) and time (60%)
oriented vertical eCommerce retailer in China , has initi- savings, but they also feel that online retailers can
ated and partnered with The Economist Intelligence be relied upon to have the products they want to buy
Unit of the Economist Group on a survey regarding the (59%), and they appreciate the range of choice
growing buying power of female consumers in Asia. online shopping offers (56%).
 When choosing an online retailer, women say price
The report, titled On the rise and online: Female con-
sumers in Asia, was released this week and has sur- (83%) is important or very important, but so are
veyed 5,500 women across major urban areas in quality (83%), genuine products (82%) and conven-
Greater China, India , Japan , South Korea and Singa- ience (77%).
pore , as well as consumer analysts, major retailers and  Getting the messaging right will be tricky. While
messages that address them as independent, intelli-
brand owners.
The study found that women are driving the growth of gent consumers were found appealing to 56% wom-
online shopping in the region, with many preferring en, 54 % said they found messages addressing
online to offline. Among survey respondents, 63% them as wives, mothers or girlfriends to be attrac-
browse the Internet at least once a day for products tive.
and services, with nearly 30% doing so twice or more  The future of online shopping looks mobile and im-
per day. Slightly fewer than 80% of women regionally pulsive: 58% of the youngest (18-29) demographic
buy groceries online, 83% for cosmetics and the figure surveyed shop online with their smartphones at
rises to nearly 90% for clothing and accessories. home, versus 38% of 40-49 year olds. While overall
some 43% reported spending more money online

Eric Shen , Chairman and CEO of Vipshop said: than they do in physical shops, again the rates
"Women are a unique and important driving force in the among those 18-29 were even higher (56%). Over
Asian market and at Vipshop over 80% of the accumu- half of women 18-29 year olds agreed that they
lative 90 million members are females, who contribute were more likely to buy impulsively online.
to 90% of our sales. The partnership with the EIU al-
lowed us the opportunity to learn more about consumer Laurel West, editor of the report, said, "Women are
shopping habits and to further expand upon its leader- controlling spending in a variety of categories where
ship position in China's online retail market.” you would expect them to, such as clothing and acces-
sories, cosmetics and groceries, but they also have an
Perhaps most troubling for retailers which are focused increasing influence in bigger ticket items such as elec-
on the brick-and-mortar business has been that nearly tronics. Many brands are realizing this and making ef-
half (49%) of women polled agreed or strongly agreed forts to better understand what is important to female
that they preferred the experience of shopping online to consumers."
doing so in stores. The figure was as high as 69% in
mainland China. According to the EIU report, Asian women regard
"quality (83%), price (83%) and genuine products
Additional key findings from the report: (82%) as the top three factors when they choose online
 Women in Asia's major cities are increasingly em- retailers. Obviously, Vipshop's business model of
powered. Region-wide, 43% of the women respond- "online discount retailing for branded and genuine prod-
ing to the survey were in managerial, executive or ucts" naturally matches with women's demands and
professional services jobs, while 83% contribute to criteria for online shopping.
household income.
The EIU report also reveals that women have dominant
 Most women are in charge of budgeting decisions online spending control in the buying of clothing and
on cosmetics (81%), clothing and accessories accessories, cosmetics, maternity and children's prod-
(73%), groceries (67%) and maternity and children's ucts, and home goods, which coincidently proves the
products (57%), and they are at least co-decision rightness of Vipshop's she-economy strategies that it
makers in most other product categories like elec- conducted one year ago. Since then, Vipshop has ex-
tronics and travel services.
panded its categories from apparel and accessories to
 At least on the Internet, many Asian women do not cosmetics, maternity and children's products, as well as
seem to be living up to the stereotype of selfless, home goods to leverage the increasing power of the
family-focused individuals. Over 62% of women are she-economy. ◊
buying for themselves most of the time when shop- Source:

ping online; in mainland China that rate rises to 74%
and to 77%t among 18-29 year olds.
4 Asian eMarketing November 2014 - Cross-, Multi-, Omni-Channel & Everywhere Commerce
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