Asian-American Consumers Are Ready To Spend

Like the vast majority of U.S. consumers, Asian-American shoppers split their purchases between value-oriented and premium items, visit a diverse selection of shops and seek out deals – both online and offline – when possible.

However, new data from Nielsen suggests that Asian-Americans are different than other demographics in one key area: Asian-American households spent 19 percent more, on average, than other households in the U.S during 2012, or $61,400 versus $44,310.

This spending gap is particularly noticeable among Millennials. Asian-American Millennial households spent 40 percent more than the average Millennial household, the study revealed.

In what specific ways do Asian-American consumers differ from other demographics? In this Data Point, we’ll examine the Nielsen numbers and explore what makes the Asian-American consumer unique.

Seeking Value

Nielsen’s report found that Asian-American shoppers are strongly influenced by their cultural heritage, and are keenly aware of the challenges faced by immigrants coming to the U.S. As such, they are more prone to seek out deals and cost-saving promotions. Asian-American consumers devote 33 percent of their total expenditures to deals, whereas non-Asian-American consumers only spend 27 percent on value-oriented products.

The data also shows that 78 percent of Asian-American consumers are more likely to do some exploratory shopping prior to making an actual purchase. Mobile shopping technology makes showrooming and price-comparisons that much easier, and is no doubt contributing to this trend.

Seeking Quality

Asian-American consumers are just as conscious of quality as they are about value . The Nielsen report shows that two in three Asian-American consumers are willing to pay more money for a quality item.

Branding plays a role in this identification of quality. Sixteen percent of Asian-American consumers are likely to believe that a strong brand indicates its quality. Twenty-nine percent are more prone to pay more for a name brand even if a lesser-known brand of the same product is available.

Flexible About Brands

Perhaps most notably, Asian-American were found to demonstrate a heightened awareness of brands that makes them more likely to buy items from familiar – and popular – companies.

Thirty-five percent of Asian-American consumers say they are “swayable shopaholics,” meaning that they are influenced by branded messaging and consumer outreach efforts. Additionally, they are 35 percent more likely to swap one brand for another based on the variety and novelty it presents. Their responsiveness to messaging is supported by the fact that, according to Nielsen, Asian-American consumers are 15 percent more likely to view advertising as a reliable source of information about a product.

Branded messaging and advertising in America is changing, thanks to the adoption of mobile technology and loyalty apps. Market Platform Dynamics CEO Karen Webster explores the implications for both consumers and merchants in her latest commentary on mobile advertising here.


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