Asian travelers now embed shopping as an “automatic behavior in the travel experience,” according to new research from Publicis Media in collaboration with sibling unit Publicis Communications. Nearly half of affluent Chinese consumers (46%) put visiting global brand boutique as one of their priority destinations, as do 32% of Indonesian and 31% of affluent Indian travelers.
Affluent Asian travelers investigate shopping opportunities as they are making travel arrangements. One in four plan their purchases while still at home. And about one-third of affluent Asian consumers plan in even more in detail, deciding in advance the brand and the specific item they want to buy.
They pre-plan across a variety of categories. One in four (24%) conduct purchase planning for low cost items like souvenirs, wine, liquor and sports apparel. 32% plan brand purchases across leather, sports apparel and liquor.
Across all of Asia, consumers are willing to spend beyond their budgets.
While most Asian travelers tend to spend more than planned on long haul trips, travelers from China, South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong tend to spend more than planned in short haul trips and shopping weekend trips.
"Asian shoppers shop in different countries to experience how people live and play," says Bertilla Teo, CEO, Publicis Media, Greater China. "Global brands are still the most powerful magnet for affluent Asians who are planning to travel abroad."
That said, they also engage in impulse purchases. Two in three (65%) purchased a new brand, one they did not know before their trip. Millennials are even more susceptible than other age groups in discovering a new brand.
“Just because your brand made it to their shopping list, doesn’t mean the path to purchase has been cemented," says Teo. "Our data suggests that approximately 66% of affluent Asian travelers, change their mind and they end up not purchasing one or more brands that were in their list."
The report outlines four shopping mind-sets to help marketers be more aware of how to reach those consumers. These labels include luxury lovers known as the Hedonists, active vacationers known as Sociable Explorers, Zen Seekers, who tend to reject active and socially charged holidays, and The Bucket Listers, who want to check off items from their bucket list.
Publicis Media’s Asian Nomads report covers 5,800 luxury consumers in 10 markets in Asia Pacific including, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Korea. One billion Asians will have enough disposable income to travel by 2030, up from 240 million today.