The faces of centennial shoppers in Southeast Asia

Centennials, or Generation Z, currently account for a substantial 277 million in Southeast Asia. And according to a new report by Dentsu Aegis Network and Econsultancy, half of them will spend more than U$30 a month on online shopping, while another 9% spending over US$100 monthly – which makes them impossible to ignore.

To help marketers better understand to understand them, a new report “Here Comes the Centennial: Southeast Asia’s New Generation of Shoppers” surveyed over 3,000 online shoppers aged 16 to 23 years old in Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam to better understand the online behaviors of this demographics.

Notable findings

Surprisingly, cash is still king for centennials in the digital age, despite myriad e-payment choices. Indeed, 56% of respondents still prefer paying cash on delivery for their purchases, though 43% of centennials say they will 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 – leveraging it heavily in their buying decisions. Specifically, social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram are the second most popular place for centennials to shop in for 47% of those polled.

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

Change needed

Brands and retailers should also market themselves differently, considering how name and image are no longer a priority of centennials. Only 11% of centennials cite having a prestigious or famous brand as one of their top three attributes when choosing where to shop online, which makes the end-to-end brand experience more important than ever.

“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,” said Jefrey Gomez, managing director of Econsultancy Asia Pacific.

“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 – tomorrow’s consumers – call this region home. Enabled more than ever before by technology and data, we are seeing incredible potential for growth in the region,” said Nick Waters, CEO of Dentsu Aegis Network Asia Pacific.

The report can be downloaded here (free registration required).

Further reading:

Online U.S. holiday sales forecasted to hit US$124 billion

CK Hutchison and Meitu form strategic alliance to enhance online and offline interaction

Programmatic ad buying becomes people based

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