Asian American Buying Culture

Just the other day I was waiting for a table at the popular dumpling restaurant Din Tai Fung in South Coast Plaza and decided to walk around the mall since it would probably be a while.  South Coast Plaza is synonymous with luxury retail.  As I was looking around, I noticed that every single store had Chinese in-language advertising in the window.  It got me thinking as to why that was the case, and how significant must the purchasing power of Asian-Americans must be to drive the kind of influence?  It turns out that Asian-American consumer buying power is $986 Billion, up 257% since 2000 vs 97% for the entire United States, which might explain why I saw what I saw!

This week we will be talking about Asian American buying culture.  Year over year we see growth and expansion in the Asian-American consumer segment.  With the power they have in retail, they can impact any business or industry with growing influence.

Culture of Shopping

Why is Asian American buying power so strong, even at only about 6% of the population?  In a lot of Asian cultures, luxury goods are status symbols, even for those who can’t afford it, so shopping is a mainstay.  Nielsen identifies about 35% of Asian Americans as “Swayable Shopaholics” who are impulse shoppers that enjoy buying.  Other significant influencers are brand strength and familiarity.  Many successful brands In the U.S. are popular with Asian Americans because of their worldwide market brand recognition such as Gucci, Chanel, Louis Vitton, and many others.  Owning any of these luxury products makes you appear successful to outsiders and your family.  One of the best ways to get Asian Americans to buy in brick and mortar stores is in-language advertising, which is why I saw so much of that at South Coast Plaza.  Of course, we can’t forget about the kind of purchasing that more consumers are engaging in as we focus on convenience, online shopping!

Mobile/Online Purchasing

Mobile devices are an important part of Asian-Americans’ daily lives with heavy use for online purchasing, listening to music, and streaming content.  Everything is done on cell phones now. This provides significant opportunities for mobile marketing to this segment that can lead to direct purchasing.  We are also seeing that Asian Americans spend 20% more than non-Hispanic whites when shopping online.

Next time you go shopping, take a more careful look and you might notice some advertising in other languages.  With growing Asian-American buying power and influence, they will be a key segment to target that can have significant influence on the entire American population.

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