19 July 2006
Results from the global ACNielsen online survey about consumers’ attitudes towards shopping have confirmed that the world’s most avid recreational shoppers are to be found in Asia.
A recent ACNielsen global online survey conducted among 22,000 Internet users in 42 markets has revealed that 74 percent of the world’s consumers admit to shopping as ‘a form of entertainment’; when they do not actually need anything.
In Singapore, where shopping is touted to be one of the national pastimes among locals, nine out of 10 respondents claimed to go shopping as a form of entertainment, even indulging in it up to twice weekly or more often (7%), while others do so to a lesser extent. While some make it a weekly ritual (22%), others do it once a month (32%), or less frequently (29%).
According to the survey, seven of the top 10 markets who shop once a week simply to occupy their time all hail from Asia.
Hong Kongers, Thais and Singaporeans rank highest in the world for shopping twice a week for ‘entertainment’ – no surprise then, that these cities have embraced retail therapy as part of their culture.
“Shopping has become a national pastime in many Asian countries and is so entrenched in the lifestyles of Thais, Hong Kongers and Singaporeans, that governments have wisely turned this national characteristic into a major tourism attraction,” said Ashok Charan, Managing Director, ACNielsen Research Singapore. “In many more developed parts of Asia such as Thailand, Hong Kong and Singapore – shopping malls are entertainment destinations incorporating cinemas, restaurants, food courts and additional sports and entertainment facilities to suit all budgets.”
We’ve heard the term “retail therapy” but for some countries it has really become part of their whole shopping experience. Russians, Japanese, Hungarians and Swedes say they find clothes shopping “therapeutic” according the ACNielsen online survey. Singapore is the only other Asian country aside from Japan, which made it to the global top 10 list of countries whose people agreed with the therapeutic effect of clothes shopping. While slightly over a quarter (26%) of locals find therapy in shopping for fashion apparel, more than one in 10 (12%) said that it is their favourite pastime!
It’s the booming economies of India and China that are embracing clothes shopping with unbridled enthusiasm. A third of Chinese consumers and one fifth of Indians say clothes shopping is their favourite thing to do, according to the ACNielsen online global survey.
“Since shopping fulfills a recreational function, it is vital for shopping centres to ensure that their customers have a pleasant and enjoyable experience. In addition to having the right brand and product mix, and range of activities, other key elements such as service, store environment and ambience, as well as special events all contribute to creating a fulfilling experience for shoppers. It is important that shopping centres have a good understanding of the profile, needs, interests and lifestyle of their target shoppers in order to deliver a unique and winning shopping experience!” commented Mr Charan.
About the Survey
The ACNielsen Online Consumer Confidence Survey, the largest twice-yearly global survey of its kind, is aimed to gauge consumers’ current confidence levels, spending habits/intentions and current major concerns. The most recent wave of the survey took place in November 2005 and polled over 23,500 consumers – regular Internet users – in 42 markets: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, UAE, United Kingdom, and the United States.
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