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More than 9 out of 10 surveyed in Hong Kong have ever bought online

Over half used 3 or more platforms to research their intended buys before making their online purchases

14 June, 2013, HONG KONG — Rising ownership of the three screens—personal computers, smartphones and media tablets in Hong Kong has made online shopping more convenient and accessible today. While personal computers are the most common platform used for online shopping with over 4 in 5 online shoppers said they have used either their laptop or desktop computer to make purchases; more than half used smartphones and 40 percent have done so using their media tablets. It is interesting to highlight that Gen Y adoption of smartphone for online shopping is highest.

“The number of online shoppers has grown by leaps and bounds from 218,000 in 2002 to 1,383,000 in 2012*,” said Walter Leung, Managing Director for GfK Hong Kong. “Intensifying migration to 3G / 4G LTE networks of smart mobile devices, added to the increasing adoption of larger screen sized smartphones which facilitate ease of usage have greatly fuelled the growth momentum of  mobile commence, much to the delight of retailers and new start-ups.”

Among the top 10 online shopping categories, Clothing came out top, followed by Accessories, Shoes, Handbags, Facial Skincare Products, Books, Hotels, Flight tickets, and Electronic Products. While one third of the online shoppers spent around HKD200-499 during each transaction, mainly on clothing, accessories and shoes, over 80 percent of the total online purchases of local consumers are for items which cost below HK$1,000.

Magazines, official websites of companies and TV are the key sources which online shoppers turn to for information on their intended buys. GfK findings indicate a greater tendency for consumers these days to do more research activities before actually making their purchases. More than half the respondents (54%) used at least 3 platforms to do their research before actually making their online purchases with search engines, social media and discussion forums being the top three channels for obtaining word-of-mouth references and product information.

“To enter into e-tail business, a good e-commerce strategy is needed, but it is not the ticket to success,” stated Leung. “Marketers need to be more visionary and innovative to capitalize on the opportunity by optimizing all the influential touch points in the whole purchase journey and develop a holistic commerce strategy in the digital world,” concluded Leung.


The GfK Retail to e-tail survey was conducted via online questionnaire using multiple but non-duplicating online panel sources. Nearly 2,000 interviews were successfully completed in January and 4,054 in April 2013. Interviewees ranged from aged 18 to 65 years old, with a quota imposed on gender.

About GfK

GfK is one of the world’s largest research companies, with around 13,000 experts working to discover new insights into the way people live, think and shop, in over 100 markets, every day. GfK is constantly innovating and using the latest technologies and the smartest methodologies to give its clients the clearest understanding of the most important people in the world: their customers. In 2011, GfK’s sales amounted to EUR 1.37 billion.

To find out more, visit or follow GfK on Twitter:


*Hong Kong Monthly Digest of Statistics in May 2013.


Seraphina Wee
Manager I PR & Communications
GfK Asia Pte Ltd | One George Street #22-02 | Singapore 049145

T +65 6826 8622 | M: +65 9385 0222

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