Asia-Pacific consumers are the world’s most prolific online shoppers and many rely on Internet reviews when making purchases, research firm Nielsen said Tuesday.
The firm said 35 percent of consumers in the region used over 11 percent of their monthly spending to make online purchases, compared to a global average of 27 percent of consumers.
South Koreans were the heaviest online buyers in Asia, with 59 percent directing more than 11 percent of their monthly spending to online purchases, followed by 41 percent in China, Nielsen said in a report.
A further 31 percent of Asian consumers use between six and 10 percent of their monthly shopping spend to buy items online.
“Consumers in the Asia-Pacific region are the world’s most prolific online shoppers,” Nielsen said.
More Asia-Pacific consumers also intend to buy online in the next six months than those from other regions, with South Koreans and Chinese the most likely to make such purchases.
Among the purchases consumers in the region are likely to make in the next six months are books, clothing, accessories and shoes, airline tickets, electronic equipment and hotel reservations.
“Technology and the Internet will very likely fundamentally change how and where shoppers spend their money and interact with retailers,” said Pete Gale, a managing director at Nielsen’s Retailer Services.
“We are seeing a strong trend in markets like Korea, where a significant population of online shoppers buy essentials such as groceries, cosmetics and nutrition supplies over the Internet.”
Nielsen said opinions posted online were important in customers’ decisions to buy products such as electronics, cosmetics, cars, software and food.
Asia-Pacific consumers were also the most likely to share dissatisfaction at a product on the Internet compared with consumers elsewhere.
“The increasing accessibility of the Internet and the incredible popularity of social media and online discussion forums mean today’s brands have nowhere to hide,” said Megan Clarken, Asia-Pacific managing director at Nielsen’s online division.
Nielsen said in June that social media such as Facebook and Twitter or blogging sites had become powerful tools influencing what people buy and urged businesses to embrace the trend.
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