Retailers to Target Asian Americans Digitally

BY Rachel Cagle
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"Asian Americans are among the most digitally enabled and tech-​adopting consumers in the country, and that plays a big role in how this group is influenced, engages with brands, seeks out information makes purchase decisions and ultimately decides which products and services to buy, reports Nielsen. This process is often described as the path to purchase. Brands able to connect with Asian American consumers along this path can form mutually beneficial relationships with a powerful consumer group, while also peeking around the corner at the future of consumption among all consumers."

"There’s never been an easier time for marketers to engage with consumers. At the same time, however, the availability of technology and access to it means there’s also never been as much competition to reach consumers as there is today."

"There are many ways that marketers can engage with consumers, but when it comes to engaging with Asian Americans, marketers should be focused on digital channels. As a group, Asian Americans are very connected: 99% of Asian American households have internet connectivity, which is six percentage points higher than the U.S. average of 93 percent. Asian Americans are also more likely than the total population to own a variety of devices, which allows these consumers to stay connected at home and on the go. For instance 89% have a computer, which is 13% more likely than the total population and 97% own a smartphone, which is 6% more likely than the total population."

According to AudienceSCAN, 52% of Asian-​American consumers own iPhones and 39.2% are Android users. Their smartphones are a big part of their buying process. Within the last six months, these shoppers have used a mobile device to get directions to a retailer (37.9%), take photos of product they're considering (29.8%), view a retailer's website (27.5%) and watch videos about products they're considering (26.3%). Additionally, last year, 50.6% of this audience took action after either receiving an ad via text or seeing an ad on their mobile smartphone apps. This isn't particularly surprising since they're 43% more likely than other shoppers to find advertising on their mobile apps useful. 

"Given this demographic’s connected lifestyles, it should come as no surprise that Asian Americans’ usage of internet-​connected devices outpaces the average U.S. consumer. It’s also worth noting that the reach of traditional media like television and TV-​connected devices is less among Asian Americans than it is among the general public."

"Weekly Device Reach (total adult population in parentheses):

  • Total use of television: 78% (90%)
  • Live + time-​shifted TV: 75% (85%)
  • Time-​shifted TV: 45% (55%)
  • TV-​connected devices: 60% (57%)
  • DVD/​Blue-​ray device: 15% (20%)
  • Game console:18% (22%)
  • Internet-​connected device: 50% (40%)
  • App/​web on a smartphone: 85% (80%)
  • Video-​focused app/​web: 65% (63%)
  • Streaming audio: 50% (48%)
  • Social networking: 80% (75%)
  • Internet on a computer: 65% (55%)
  • Social networking: 35% (29%)
  • Video on a computer: 34% (28%)
  • App/​web on a tablet: 55% (50%)
  • Video-​focuses app/​web on a tablet: 32% (30%)
  • Streaming audio: 17% (15%)"

"While Asian Americans aren’t as engaged with traditional TV as the general public, they are playing a starring role in leading the connected TV revolution. While total TV usage among Asian Americans lags the general population (78% vs. 90%), these consumers spend nearly 23 hours each week with TV, but for them, watching “TV” doesn’t mean they’re tuned into regularly scheduled programming from a cable or satellite provider."

"Asian Americans say that mobile and web ads provide the most meaningful messages about what other consumers are buying, where the bargains are, and what new products and services are available."
"An overwhelming 91% of Asian Americans agree with the statement “The Internet is a great way to gather information on products/​services I’m considering purchasing.” That said, advertising isn’t the only way to engage this group. marketers consider their media mix options, it’s important that they consider earned and paid media to convey their brand messages."

"From an actual purchasing perspective, shopping online is heaven for digital natives. And while Asian Americans love online shopping, the experience isn’t solely about the end purchase. Yes, 87% have made an online purchase over the past 12 months, which means Asian Americans are 22% more likely to do so than the general population. Perhaps more importantly, online shopping offers Asian Americans a sense of cultural connection. That’s because e‑commerce provides easy access to products from all over Asia, products that are either native to consumers’ countries of heritage or difficult to find in the U.S. In fact, 73% of Asian Americans agree with the statement “I use the internet to buy hard-​to-​find products.”

What other advertising formats are effective for reaching Asian-​American consumers? Last year, according to AudienceSCAN, these shoppers were motivated by email ads (55.1%), ads on daily deals websites (54%), both print and digital newspapers (50.3%) and magazines (49.5%) and over-​the-​air and digital radio ads (44.7%). They're also 32% more likely than other consumers to take action after seeing ads in movie theaters.

AudienceSCAN data is available for your applications and dashboards through the SalesFuel API. Media companies and agencies can access AudienceSCAN data through the AudienceSCAN Reports in AdMall.