Consumer engagement with a brand on the social networks or other digital channels is not just about keeping up to date with brand news. Latest figures show this engagement is also driving higher sales.

Asia Pacific consumers spend more on brands they follow online

If there were still any lingering doubts about the link between the fact that a consumer follows a brand on social networks and his/her desire to purchase items from that same brand, a recently-published study would appear to sweep them away, at least as far as the Asia Pacific region is concerned. Integrated communications agency Waggener Edstrom (WE) Communications surveyed 2,200 consumers across the region and found that Asian consumers are spending up to 257% more on brands they follow online. Underlines Zaheer Nooruddin, Vice President of Digital at Waggener Edstrom’s Studio D in Asia-Pacific: “In 2014, if brands succeed in creating consumer engagement through high-quality content marketing across Asian markets, then the ROI will follow.”

Greater engagement, stronger sales figures

Respondents to the survey were asked questions on how they interact with brands across six business categories. The report reveals that consumers in Singapore who follow Healthcare brands online spend up to 172% more per purchase on healthcare-related products and services than consumers who do not engage online. The same is true of the Philippines, where up to 257% more is spent in this sector. Moreover, Filipinos who actively follow Travel and Tourism brands online spend up to 160% more on these products and services per year. This trend is also seen in India (187% more) and in Australia (51% more). In the Consumer Electronics and Appliances sector (excluding Mobile Devices, which for the purposes of the study are a separate sector) it is the Japanese who spend the most, with consumers who follow Consumer Electronics and Appliances brands online spending up to 12% more per purchase on products and services in this sector. Food and Beverage brands are purchased enthusiastically by Internet users in China, where consumers who follow these brands online spend up to 160% more per week, while South Koreans spend an extra 167% per week. In Australia, Personal Care brand followers notch up the highest additional spend, at 111% more per week, and the same is true for this product category in Vietnam, with 156% more per week.

High overall engagement in the region

In fact the study indicates that levels of online consumer engagement are in general extremely high in Asia. For example, 57% of Vietnamese consumers following healthcare brands on social networks say they are likely to recommend them to their family and colleagues. Likewise, some 60% of consumers in Japan state that they actively click on online advertising, a figure which rises to 86% in China. Hong Kong also seems to be one of the most brand-engaged areas in Asia: the study found that 88% of all HK consumers take part in brand campaigns on social networks and 33% of consumers who follow brands online say they are happy to recommend products in the Mobile Device sector to their family, friends and colleagues.

By Aurore Geraud
Senior Editor & Analyst