Retail in Asia


Get to know the new Asian consumers of 2024

The Bluebell Group, Asia’s leading brand distributor and operator, has released the fourth volume of its Asia Lifestyle Consumer Profile.

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Based on an Asia-wide survey covering 1,750 premium lifestyle consumers across six markets – Mainland China, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Southeast Asia (Singapore and Malaysia) – the 2024 report focuses on how Asian consumers perceive the value of luxury brands in the midst of global instability and economic uncertainties, and explores the significant shifts in consumer behaviours and values, with emerging trends towards redefining lifestyles, emphasising well-being, sports, spirituality and experiential pursuits.

Taking a closer look, here are three major trends that emerged from the report.

Value appreciation: Quality, brand reputation, and resale and investment value are key

The survey shows a shift in the luxury paradigm in Asia, marked by an emphasis on quality, reputation and a growing consciousness of the resale or investment value of a product.

From the survey, quality stands as the cornerstone of how Asian consumers value luxury, with over 70 percent of consumers in all markets agreeing that luxury is about the quality; notably China and Taiwan show high agreement rates at 94 percent and
93 percent, respectively.

Along with that, brand reputation continues to be a critical determinant in luxury purchases, with China at 96 percent, Southeast Asia at 91 percent and Taiwan at 90 percent.

Furthermore, Asian consumer consciousness regarding accumulating too many products reflects a notable trend towards mindful consumption, and acquiring less products, focusing on those that have a perceived resale value.

Source: Shutterstock

On average, 74 percent of consumers across the six markets express an inclination towards evaluating the resale value of their purchases before acquiring new items,
with Southeast Asia leading the pack at 85 percent.

Furthermore, there is a growing acceptability among Asian consumers in support of Asian premium brands. China is leading the way with a strong support rate of
85 percent for Asian luxury brands, followed by Southeast Asia at 83 percent. Taiwan, Hong Kong and Korea also show degrees of support at 68 percent, 65 percent and 62 percent, respectively, while Japan shows relatively lower support at 51 percent.

Quality of service: Perks and tailored experiences

Asian consumers show a keen expectation in being rewarded with special perks by brands during their shopping journeys. China leads at 97 percent, followed by Taiwan at 92 percent and Hong Kong at 91 percent, with Japan and Korea, however, displaying more modest agreement rates at 73 percent and 64 percent, respectively.

Asian luxury consumers are also willing to accept rising prices, with the expectation that the brand delivers on the quality of their products. China and Southeast Asia demonstrate strong acceptance of price increases, at 88 percent and 78 percent, respectively. However, Korea (63 percent) and Japan (49 percent) are less accommodating, signalling a more discerning approach to price increases.

Source: Shutterstock

These findings underscore the importance of tailoring service levels physically and beyond the store to meet the diverse needs and preferences of consumers across Asia, the report added.

Pricing alignment: The best price vs. brand authenticity

When it comes to online shopping, consumer preferences diverge between favouring brand official websites and opting for multi-brand online platforms. China (59 percent),
Korea (61 percent) and Taiwan (54 percent) mostly prefer brand official websites, highlighting an inclination towards direct brand engagement and possibly in a search for authenticity.

Elsewhere, Japan (63 percent), Hong Kong (61 percent) and Southeast Asia (57 percent) show a preference for multi-brand platforms, suggesting a higher value placed on choice, pricing and convenience,

Taking a closer look at product categories, the survey findings also reveal that brand official websites are preferred for online shopping across most product segments. However, the beauty sector leans more towards a preference for multi-brand platforms, while the jewellery & watches sector shows a distinct preference for brand official websites.

Access to the full report is available here.

Retail in Asia is part of the Bluebell Group.