Strong upgrade culture in Singapore when it comes to smart devices and new technology

Text100’s Digital Consumer Electronics Index finds an omni-channel approach is key, with online and physical retail still highly valued by APAC and Singapore consumers

When it comes to Smart Devices and New Technology, there is a strong upgrade culture in Singapore, according to the latest Text100 Digital Index: APAC Consumer Electronics Study. Results showed that nearly half of the respondents will purchase a new product to "stay trendy” (49%) and “because it’s new" (47%).

Despite Singapore's love affair with new devices, the findings show that majority of buyers in the Republic opt for the safe and pragmatic approach when purchasing consumer electronic goods. When Singapore respondents were asked about their view of technology, “long lifespan of devices” and “most happy with tried and tested” were indexed the highest.

Based on more than 2,000 respondents in seven countries including Singapore, the study specifically looked at three subsectors in the consumer electronics segment: Smart Devices and New Technology; Games, Software and Apps; and Traditional Electronics and Home Appliances.



Mainstream media and word-of-mouth are top information sources
The study found that two in every three shoppers in Asia-Pacific (APAC) have already done extensive research and decided which brand of consumer electronics product they will buy before they make a decision to purchase.

Online and offline word-of-mouth remain the most influential source of information for consumers throughout APAC – being referenced by one in two potential buyers of Smart Devices and New Technology.

However, mainstream media (TV, radio, newspapers) still wields strong influence, especially during the initial "awareness" stage of the buying process. The study revealed that 52% of APAC buyers for Smart Devices and New Technology, and 43% of APAC buyers for Traditional Electronics and Home Appliances, rated mainstream media as an important information source.

Purchase price, product specifications, and warranty information ranked as the most sought-after information types across all product subsectors and stages of the buying journey, with almost 3 in every 4 consumers seeking out pricing information when they were intending to buy.

Moreover, the study showed that buyers across all three subsectors in APAC and Singapore rely on consumer reviews as much as professional reviews -- highlighting the growing importance of consumer advocacy programs.

An Omni-Channel Approach to Consumer Engagement
“Brands no longer get to decide which channels they play in – consumers have now truly taken control over the decision-making process, dictating what information they expect from brands as well as where, and when they want it,” said Anne Costello, Text100’s Regional Director of Asia-Pacific.  “At the core, we are still after the same things: price, facts, and validation from our peers that we’re making the right decision.

“But the age-old ways of getting this information, like word-of-mouth, have been dramatically remediated into a whole range of new channels, from social media sharing to blogs and self-declared experts both online and on the retail High Street. Building product awareness is critical for today’s brands and they can only do so by mapping out an integrated, omni-channel communications strategy that is consistent, credible and relevant in the content that it offers.”

Retail retains a foot in the door
The study also found that despite the dominance of online channels at the start of consumers’ decision-making process, brick-and-mortar retail outlets remained a trusted source of information from initial research to purchase and beyond, with their function changing depending on where the consumer was in their buying journey.

In Singapore, an average of 50% of respondents cited "visiting a retail store" as an important information source, with this channel ranked as the #1 source for consumers looking to purchase Traditional Electronics and Home Appliances products.

"Trends like showrooming and eRooming are on the rise, and once again consumers are pushing brands to innovate their cross-channel marketing and communications strategies to improve sales conversions," said Marc Ha, Vice President and Managing Consultant, Text 100 Singapore. "To effectively engage customers across their buyer journeys, brands need to break down prevailing silos of marketing and communications and weave together a compelling and authentic story that integrates their paid, owned, earned and social platforms."

Other key findings include:
·Singaporean and Hong Kong consumers are the most price-sensitive;
·Brands have up to a one-month window to engage and influence consumer purchasing decisions.  In Singapore, up to 76% of buyers will make their decision to purchase Smart Devices and New Technology, and up to 73% for Traditional Electronics and Home Appliances, within a month of researching. On the other hand, brands in the Gaming, Software and Apps category need to move much faster, with a spike of 30% of consumers likely to purchase within a week of researching.
·In 58% of Singapore households, more than one person is involved in the final purchase decision of consumer electronic goods.   
·9 in 10 Chinese shoppers expect to buy smart devices in the next 12 months
·In 40 per cent of Australian households, the husband or male partner assumes a major stake in deciding what to buy
·Taiwanese consumers are as likely to buy second-hand goods as brand new ones, across all types of consumer electronics.

Credits - Text100 Singapore

About the Digital Index: APAC Consumer Electronics
The Digital Index: APAC Consumer Electronics study was conducted by Redshift Research in October 2013 and consists of more than 2,020 online interviews spanning seven countries. Responses were balanced across country, age and gender demographics. This study is part of Text100’s Digital Index series, which aims to deliver insights specific to a range of industries experiencing rapid change as a result of digital technology adoption.

About Text100
We are the I.D.E.A. agency. We help our clients understand what matters to their audiences and create integrated stories to participate in conversations that inspire action. As a global communications consultancy, we use our I.D.E.A. consulting process to develop audience-focused campaigns that are insightful, creative, impactful and focus on digital environments as well as traditional media and influencers. We have a global staff of more than 500 and a direct presence in 30 cities worldwide. We work with many of the world’s elite brands and industry pioneers in technology, telco, healthcare, travel and tourism, automotive and energy all of whom engage Text100 to think differently and to be innovative in today’s fast moving communications world. Our client roster includes IBM, Skype, Cisco, MTV, Vodafone, PayPal, British Airways, Lenovo, and SanDisk. Our Text Factor makes us different and has been praised around the world. We have been recognized as the leading Digital Consultancy in APAC, the Best Midsize Agency to Work For in the US, and one of the UK’s Best Small Companies. For more information about Text100, please visit www.text100.com.

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