While women in Southeast Asia are generally prudent in their purchasing decisions, a new survey has found Vietnamese women to be the exception.
Hakuhodo, the Japanese agency, analysed data from its most recent Global Habit survey to examine the lifestyles and shopping perceptions of Southeast Asian women aged 20–34 in the six southeast Asian cities of Jakarta, Metro Manila, Ho Chi Minh City, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, according to WARC.
It said that this group tended to compare prices before buying and to make planned purchases. But these habits scored relatively lowly among the women surveyed in Ho Chi Minh City, reported Campaign Asia-Pacific.
In addition, this was the only city where more than half of women favoured luxury brands and preferred design over function. They were also more sensitive than others to fashion trends and to consider that high quality meant high price.
Ho Chi Minh City was also notable for the high proportion of women who highlighted window shopping as a hobby or leisure activity (58%). Hakuhodo noted that this city, along with Bangkok (53%), had shopping perceptions that showed “glimpses of happy shoppers”.
Family was the most important for women in five of the cities, especially Metro Manila and Jakarta, where more of this group was likely to be married. The exception was Bangkok where generosity and warmth were most valued.
A separate survey covering affluent Asian women in the same age group, from Agility Research & Strategy, said they represented “significant potential for brands keen to participate in the growth of the luxury and premium travel [sectors] in Asia”.
They found their respondents to be discerning in their purchasing, considering product quality in relation to price as the most important parameter.
As well as high expectations as regards quality of service and product, they were looking for exclusivity and uniqueness. European brands dominated across the fashion, watch and auto sectors, as these consumers were prepared to pay a premium for the heritage of the brand, and for the quality and craftsmanship of the product.
Cities surveyed: The Southeast Asian cities of Jakarta, Metro Manila, Ho Chi Minh City, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore
Jakarta: Homemakers who marry young, they prioritize family and want a solid, stable life.
In their early 20s, one in two is unmarried, but by their late 20s, only around 10% remain unmarried. The ratio homemakers who marry young is high. Over 70% prioritize their family above all else, indicating that focus on family is widespread. In shopping, luxury brands and design are not particularly sought after, with the trend toward price consciousness. With strong tendencies toward comparing prices before buying and planned shopping, it would seem that Jakarta has many canny women.
Metro Manila: Like the Internet, TV games and are unconcerned with conventional styles in the clothes they wear.
Share much with Jakarta—many marry early and are canny shoppers—but there are differences in interests and hobbies/leisure interests and fashion perceptions. Using the Internet/computers ranks among their hobbies/leisure activities, and computer/TV games appear in the top 10, hinting at familiarity with the Internet and gaming. Relaxed fashions are preferred when going out, and women like clothes that are unconcerned with conventional styles, but that demonstrate their individuality are better liked.
Ho Chi Minh City: Highly conscious of luxury brands and design, these women are highly aware of fashion.
The only city where more than 50% of women prefer well-known luxury brands and put more importance on design over function.
Unlike other cities, there is a strong tendency toward being knowledgeable about products and trying out new products as soon as they come out, as well as a low rate of planned purchasing. Interest in fashion is high, with one in two conscious of how they will appear to the opposite sex when they decide what to wear.
Bangkok: Multifaceted women who love shopping and have more in their lives than just their families
In the woman they would like to be, the items generous and warm, independent minded and place my family above all other considerations come in around 40–50%. While place my family above all other considerations is top in the other five cities, in Bangkok, there are glimpses that multi-faceted women with more to their lives than just family in Bangkok are accepted in Bangkok.
These women are also big shoppers, with one in two giving shopping/window shopping as one of their hobbies.
Kuala Lumpur: Price and design both important. These women want it all Kuala Lumpur is No. 2 among the six cities for the ratio of women who favor luxury brands and design. At the same time, these women are picky about prices. As such, they appear to be both seeking the best things in life and canny when they open their purses.
In hobbies/leisure activities, watching TV, listening to radio, reading and listening to music rank highly. Hobbies that can be enjoyed at home seem to be preferred.
Singapore: Marry later, and are canny shoppers while extoling the virtues of the single life.
The proportion of women who marry late is the highest among the six cities, with one in two aged 20–34 single. In hobbies/leisure activities, shopping, going to the movies movies, international travel and the using the Internet score high, delineating the active lifestyles of these women. However, when it comes to shopping, they are prudent. They are price-conscious and plan their shopping, and if the quality and functions are satisfactory, they are happy with private and fast fashion brands. Quality and substance seems to be their motto.