Retail in Asia


Transient consumer behavior cycles, automated tech disrupt Asian marketing strategies

A LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton store and a Gucci Group NV store are illuminated at night in Macau, China, on Friday, Dec. 10, 2010. Hong Kong demand for yuan-denominated bonds is so hot that Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd., a casino operator, was able to sell notes at yields lower than in Shanghai and below those on gaming debt in the U.S. Photographer: Daniel J. Groshong/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Asia’s expedited consumer behavior cycles and adoption of automated technologies creates unfamiliar terrain for Western brands, according to panelists at the Financial Times’ Business of Luxury Summit on May 23.

Shopping habits of Europeans tend to mutate slowly, over the course of a decade or more, and handcrafted goods remain a main selling point, but the same values are not so easily applicable in China and Japan. In addition to properly segmenting consumers, tracking rapid changes in behavior and their geographical implications, the rise of technology and automation presents yet another issue that will complicate the ability to tap into Asia’s growing consumer base.

“Secondary markets like The RealReal have enormous potential for Asian markets,” said Clive Ng, financier. “Millennials are very conscious and very green in terms of process and how things are made, and a lot tend to like secondary markets.”

The future of luxury

In China in particular, rapid development over the past few decades has bred distinct micro-generations that are not perfect corollaries to consumers of the same age in the West. Specifically, millennials and Generation Z are clearly demarcated by contrasting behavior.

Adrian Cheng, founder of K11 and executive director of Chow Tai Fook, has found via internal research that consumers born in the ‘80s and ‘90s differ dramatically in preference and habits.

Those born in the 1980s crave social recognition, which manifests itself via a strong social presence where everything is shared in a demand for likes. Those born post-1990 are less interested in validation from peers, value more niche or local brands and are more capricious.

Consumers born in the 1990s spend 20 percent more than those born in the 1980s, and those born after 2000, despite their youth, spend 70 percent more than those in the ‘80s. Overall, each group is less loyal to brands than the previous generation.

(Source: Luxury Daily )