Rising social media influence in Asia-Pacific could bolster brands’ online presence and sales
In emerging Asia-Pacific markets, social networks are widely popular among internet users. Moreover, compared to developed markets, they are also considered more influential for consumers making brand decisions.
The March “Socialogue” study by global research firm Ipsos revealed that 54% of internet users in China said they would buy a brand because a friend “liked” or followed it on a social network, almost twice the average for Asia-Pacific overall. (And significantly higher than the 15% of internet users in North America who said the same.) India and Indonesia followed China, at 44% and 39%, respectively.
This data indicates that a presence on social networks for brands in Asia-Pacific is essential for more than just exposure, but also sales, as more consumers warm up to online purchases. eMarketer estimates that users in China, India and Indonesia will spend an average of $489, $721 and $613, respectively, online in 2012.
Granted, eMarketer’s figures include travel purchases, which account for nearly 80% of online spending in India, for example. Still, as B2C websites in these markets improve delivery, security and payment options, the total discovery-to-purchase cycle is making a noticeable shift to online. While the value of “likes” and followers on social media in the West continues to be debated, the data indicates that for brands, being on social in Asia-Pacific is becoming essential.
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Check out today’s other articles, “Brands Ignore Negative Social Buzz at Their Peril” and “Retailers Look to Mobile Point-of-Sale Tools.”