In a time of rising inflation and macroeconomic uncertainty, it’s easy to assume that Hong Kong’s shoppers are focused on only the sticker price and cost savings. The reality, however, is more complex, as our recent consumer study shows.
While 46% of shoppers are looking to reduce spending in the next six months, they cite quality and value as primary factors influencing their purchase decision.1 So although they’re budget conscious, they aren’t looking for cheap goods. Their priority is to make sure their purchases count.
This emerging consumer trend in Hong Kong presents opportunities for you to grow your business, even in uncertain times.
Our study provides three key consumer insights that can help you meet people’s needs and get them to shop with you.
Hong Kong shoppers focus on value, quality over sticker price
A key finding from our consumer study is that Hong Kong shoppers watch their spending in surprisingly different ways, even as they prioritize value and quality.
For some, it might actually mean buying more items, but at a great value, such that they still spend less overall. They do this by searching for shopping deals, with 1 in 3 people buying more during sales or promotions.2
Others may trade up, opting for a premium brand that is competitively priced, or even more expensive, as long as it’s value for money. Indeed, 1 in 3 shoppers say they’ve switched to more premium brands or spent more on high quality products.3
Given how much Hong Kong shoppers prize value and quality, it’s important that your brand delivers this message clearly. After all, people with greater brand affinity are 1.5X more likely to spend a higher amount than other shoppers.4
Global oral care brand Darlie did this by collaborating with the influential Cantopop singer Keung To on a series of YouTube ads that show how a confident smile can bring about good things for a person. The result was a 50% view-through rate and a 33% increase in Brand Lift, both well above industry benchmarks.
Hong Kong shoppers like to combine online and offline channels when shopping
Another important consumer insight from our study: Hong Kong shoppers like to use a combination of offline and online channels throughout their buying journeys, from initial consideration to final purchase. In fact, the proportion of omnichannel shoppers in Hong Kong tops that in all of Southeast Asia. In Hong Kong, 59% of shoppers surveyed use both online and offline channels in their buying journey5 as compared with 42% in Southeast Asia.6
Online channels, in particular, are a critical part of the omnichannel buying journey for Hong Kong shoppers. More than 80% of them discover brands and research products online,7 including on Search and YouTube.
With people moving between online and offline channels as they shop, and spending a day or less before they go from consideration to purchase,8 it’s important that you have a seamless omnichannel retail experience. It allows you to be there for shoppers throughout their buying journey, from inspiration to consideration and purchase.
One way to reach customers wherever they are, online or offline, and with speed and scale, is through Performance Max. International skincare brand Fresh used this marketing automation solution, powered by machine learning, to promote its store locations across Google’s ad channels during the pandemic. The campaign resulted in 3X more enquiries about purchases at its stores.
Hong Kong shoppers buy from trusted touchpoints
Our study also shows that trust is important to shoppers, whether they’re making purchases offline or online.
Reliability and trustworthiness are among the top three reasons why Hong Kong shoppers choose to purchase at a store. The experience of shopping in a brick-and-mortar space reassures them that they will be able to receive customer service and have an avenue to seek refunds if necessary.
The same reasons underpin why 1 in 3 people who research offline will make purchases online. The availability of online customer support makes them feel confident about their purchase, and shopping on a branded website makes them feel more secure. In addition, detailed images, accurate product information, and customer reviews build their trust in retail sites and apps.9
What this means is that your omnichannel retail experience should not only be seamless, it should be consistently reliable, with people receiving a quality shopping experience both online and offline.
One way to mirror the transparency of offline stores and build trust online is to be open about seeking consent from shoppers to share their information. Clearly state the reason for doing so and provide them with compelling value in exchange. On the latter, Google Analytics 4 can help you better understand your customers through accurate first-party data, and optimize your online channels to deliver a more secure and smoother shopping experience.
We may live in uncertain times, but Hong Kong shoppers aren’t about to penny pinch and settle for less. So if you provide value, quality, and a trusted omnichannel retail experience, they’ll be willing to open their wallets and spend with you.