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Intelligence: New Rakuten Marketing Research Reveals APAC Consumer Intentions Ahead of the Holidays From Respondents Across Asia

Leading digital advertising business Rakuten Marketing has announced the launch of its new 2019 Consumer Holiday Shopping Research, delving into the planned spending habits of consumers ahead of this year’s holiday season. 

The research surveyed 2000 consumers across four key APAC markets including Australia, South Korea, China and Singapore with the findings revealing a number of key trends that will help marketers plan for this holiday season.

Consumers are officially in holiday shopping mode. When asked to describe their approach to holiday gift shopping, most Australian (28%) and South Korean (30%) consumers described themselves as ‘holiday shoppers’, making purchases only when November hits. For Chinese consumers, this is not the case with 38% considering themselves ‘sporadic shoppers’, having planned for the gift giving season throughout the year. Most Singaporeans (29%) label themselves ‘bargain hunters’, concentrating their holiday shopping around big sale events such as Cyber Weekend and Single’s Day.


Despite uncertain economic conditions, 42% of Australians remain optimistic indicating no significant change in their plans for spending these holidays. However, 49% of South Koreans indicated they will spend less money on gifts this holiday season and 36% of Chinese and Singaporean consumers have already reduced their spending during the holiday gift shopping periods.

On average, the majority of consumers across all surveyed countries are looking to spend approximately $100 – $499 AUD on holiday gifts. Most Singaporeans and South Koreans are looking to buy gifts for three to five people (44% and 45% respectively) whilst Australian consumers are looking to buy for between five to ten people (65%) and Chinese consumers only buying for one or two (50%). 

Interestingly for advertisers, Chinese consumers indicated they have the highest appreciation for holiday advertising with 44% saying they find holiday advertisements very helpful when purchasing gifts. On the other end of the spectrum, only 15% of Australians find holiday advertising useful and a further 23% indicated they find it annoying.

However of the ads they do see, consumers are predominantly aligned across APAC on the type of advertising they find most beneficial. All countries indicated that pricing strategies such as sales, discounts, coupons and vouchers are the most influential factors when making purchasing decisions (averaging 33% across APAC).

When it comes to converting gift purchases, consumers in Singapore, South Korea and China prefer to make transactions via mobile (31%, 45% and 51% respectively). The top apps used in each country to make these mobile purchases include WeChat in China (69%), Facebook in Singapore (45%) and Kakao Talk in South Korea (40%). Australian consumers still prefer to purchase in-store (52%) with 49% indicating they don’t use mobile apps at all to make gift purchases.

Anthony Capano, International Managing Director at Rakuten Marketing commented on the findings of the 2019 Consumer Holiday Shopping Research:

“Marketers must remember that ‘shopper profiles’ change at this time of year – instead of buying for themselves, people are buying for others. For brands this means engaging audiences outside of the traditional customer base, often through new tactics and channels.”

“Now more than ever it’s important for brands and advertisers to connect online with offline to make the most seamless shopping experience for consumers. This new research by Rakuten Marketing aims to give marketers the best relevant, up-to-date information so that they can create effective and efficient strategies this gift giving season.”


About the research:
The 2019 Consumer Holiday Shopping Research was conducted by Savanta and commissioned by Rakuten Marketing in October 2019.
About Rakuten Marketing: 
Rakuten Marketing is a performance marketing business uniquely positioned at the intersection of e-commerce and digital marketing. Harnessing the best of strategy and technology, our affiliate marketing, programmatic display and search products help global businesses seamlessly expand into new markets, acquire valuable new customers and authentically engage their existing audiences by delivering experiences people love. Brands benefit with improved performance and efficiencies, and results that align with real business objectives.
Rakuten Marketing is a division of Rakuten Inc. (4755: TOKYO), one of the world’s leading Internet service companies. With Asia-Pacific offices in Sydney, Melbourne and Singapore, the company is headquartered in San Mateo, California, with additional offices in France, Brazil, Japan, the UK, and throughout the United States. Follow us on Twitter or learn more at

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