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China and Japan may both be in Asia, but that’s about all they share when it comes to digital grocery shopping, according to research from GMO Japan Market Intelligence. From frequency of purchase to reasons for buying groceries digitally to fears about doing so, women in the two countries seem to have little in common.
May 2015 polling found that female digital grocery buyers in Japan were on much less of a schedule than their counterparts in China, for one thing: More than half said they bought groceries digitally on no set schedule, compared with just 10.5% who said the same in China.
That could be related to the main reasons why women in Japan said they bought groceries online—more than half said it was so they wouldn’t have to carry home heavy items, which may be a less regular occurrence. In China, the top reasons for shopping digitally were different and involved the ease and convenience of the web over traditional stores. Many of the possible responses were selected by more women polled in China than in Japan, suggesting digital grocery shopping appeals for a wider variety of reasons there.
Women in the two countries also have different concerns about buying groceries digitally. High delivery charges were the biggest turnoff in both countries, followed by difficulty in getting same-day deliveries. But after that, problems diverged: The No. 3 concern in China was damage to products during delivery, but almost no respondents in Japan shared that fear.
Digital grocery buyers are even looking for different types of food in the two markets. In China, female shoppers mostly added dairy products, grains, bread and snacks to their baskets, while their counterparts in Japan were mostly interested in fish, fruits, meat and vegetables, grains, and beverages.
October 2014 research from UPS and comScore found that 45% of digital buyers across China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and South Korea had purchased groceries digitally in the past three months.
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