Despite the worldwide boom in online retail over the past years, shopping in physical stores is still key for consumers in Hong Kong – but only if the purchasing experience integrates all sales channels, innovative technology and data-driven incentives.
These findings are part of a global study of 6,000 consumers in select countries in Europe, APAC and the Americas, commissioned by Wirecard.
▪ Consumers need consistent offerings across all sales channels:
While 75% of shoppers in Hong Kong preferred to purchase in-store over the past 12 months, the research shows that consistent cross-channel experiences are vital to consumers. Australians are most likely to shop in-store (81%), while mobile apps are growing in popularity in Hong Kong (59%) and Singapore (53%). More than 9-in-10 either research the products they want to purchase online before buying in-store afterwards (98%) or vice versa (97%). Hong Kong shoppers would prefer to use an app on their phone (79%) to do research while in-store, compared to other methods like an online store website, in-store screens or a VR booth.
▪ Merchants not offering Unified Commerce possibilities will lose out:
The rise in popularity of more advanced cross-channel purchasing options, such as buying online and then picking up in-store (BOPIS), further supports this finding. Almost all (93%) of Hong Kong respondents say that if a brand or merchant doesn’t offer these kinds of options, it would have at least some influence in their decision to shop there.
▪ Shoppers are “always on” so maintaining an up-to-date online shop is key:
While physical stores are the preferred buying location, how and when people find goods varies, with online browsing offering the most convenience. Consumers will shop online most often while they are relaxing (81%), watching TV (32%) or in bed (37%).
On average, consumers from Hong Kong are ordering products from a foreign website 16 times a year, the second highest after Brazil at 17 times a year. They do so to get products not available locally (59%) or are cheaper (54%). However, majority of shoppers (98%) indicated that the lack of a familiar payment method would heavily influence their decision to order products from a foreign website.
▪ Consumers appreciate data-driven services and offerings:
The vast majority of consumers value data-driven, customer-centric value-added services and loyalty programs. This is particularly true in Hong Kong, where 86% of respondents reported that they would be willing to give retailers personal information either online or in-store, in exchange for incentives such as a larger discount, with 95% of consumers using loyalty programs.
▪ Cashless payments are omnipresent:
Nearly all (96%) of respondents are now using cashless payment methods when they shop in physical stores citing convenience (41%), speed (30%), security (21%) the main factors driving this preference. In fact, 50% of Hong Kong respondents say they would be less likely to shop in a physical store if it did not offer ways to pay via their mobile phones. While card payments remain the most popular method for cashless payments worldwide, mobile wallets are significantly more popular in Asia with an average of 48% of consumers in in Hong Kong (53%) and Singapore (42%) regularly choosing this payment method versus the global average of 30%.
Other key findings from the research include:
- 65% of Hong Kong shoppers are interested to use biometric data e.g. facial recognition, fingerprint) to purchase products in-store and online
- Consumers would spend an average of HKD125 more if the payment is authorized with biometric data compared to a cashless payment that does not need authorization
- When shopping in-store Hong Kong consumers’ preferred method of payments are: swipe debit/credit card (69%), mobile wallet (53%) and contactless card payment (36%)
- 72% are interested to use technologies like mobile apps, smart mirrors and VR while shopping
- While 61% agree that being environmentally-friendly is a major purchase factor, one-third (33%) would not be willing to pay more for these products and more than half (56%) would not pay 2% or more.
The report can be downloaded here.