Dominic Powers, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, International at Epsilon, highlights the findings from within Asia.

Dominic Powers

Epsilon International conducted a Consumer Loyalty Study this year, and for Asia Pacific, the company completed released findings from Japan, China, India and Australia
this year.

Through Epsilon International’s 2013 Consumer Loyalty Study, we wanted to identify the sources of influence on consumers’ spending attitudes and behaviours — their views towards money, the future economic outlook, foreign competition and the impact of information sources on their purchase decisions.

Money Talks

One such way we sought to understand the motivation of consumer spending was based on their views of money. We noted a majority of consumers from the developed Australian and Japanese markets view money as a tool to help them reach their goals and dreams.

Another highlight is the portion of Chinese consumers who said money is for spending and enjoying (30%), an increase from 22% in 2011. This is a notable contrast to the small percentage found among Australian (8%), Japanese (8%) and Indian consumers (6%).

This attitude concurs with the finding that a far greater share of consumers in China work full-time: 77% compared to India’s 55%, Japan’s 41% and Australia’s 37%. However, this difference is more likely provoked by continuously skyrocketing homes prices across China, which in recent years have developed to a level beyond the means of most Chinese. When a lifetime goal such as owning a home is improbable in the near future, many turn to more affordable and immediate fulfillment.

Defining Consumer Loyalty

Similar to 2011 study findings, there is no single universal definition of loyalty for consumers in the markets surveyed. The top experiences equated with loyalty varied by region.

In China, more consumers said loyalty meant shopping at a company for over three years. In Japan and Australia, over 40% of consumers viewed loyalty as shopping for the quality of their products, even if they are more expensive. In India, manifestations of loyalty are very fragmented. It could mean long periods of active customer relationships, influence on family/friends or the willingness to pay more for quality, etc.

Perceptions and behaviours vary across borders. Nevertheless, relevant values and services emerge as the key criteria that build and strengthen customer relationships. Embedding these elements in customer experiences across channels should be the focal point of all marketing initiatives. Knowing and understanding the factors that influence their purchase behaviours and their loyalty to a brand is vital for success.