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Recession-based habits now ingrained in Taiwanese Consumers: GfK

Around 95 percent using various forms of money saving strategy; active cut-backs on spending

26 November, 2013, TAIPEI – With over two-fifth (44%) of consumers in Taiwan expressing the lack of confidence in their current personal economic situation, it is no wonder that majority of local consumers are cautious about spending money. According to a recent GfK study, 95 percent of Taiwanese are using a money saving strategy, and 89 percent have cut back on expenses such as dining out at restaurants in the past year.

GfK polled over 40,000 consumers aged 15+ across 28 countries, including 11 from Asia Pacific - Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and the latest additions of Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam. Approximately 1,500 respondents per market were surveyed on their attitudes, behaviors and values across a range of topics.

“While the economic situation has not gotten worse since the global recession, the 2013 results show that recession-based habits have become ingrained,” said Jennifer Tsai, Head of Taiwan Office, Consumer Experience. “Consumers are using what they have learned during tough times to propel them toward their goals without giving up ground.”

The most common money saving strategies for Taiwanese consumers are using coupons (67%), followed by postponing a purchase until the product is on sale (61%) and shopping more carefully for everyday necessities such as food and clothing (55%).

“Consumers here are more conscious of their spending than their global counterparts,” commented Tsai. “Our findings revealed that 47 percent of Taiwanese consumers have used four or more money saving strategies in the past year, compared with the significantly lower level of 38 percent globally.”

When it comes to cutbacks made in the past year, 52 percent of Taiwanese consumers have reduced their spend on dining out at restaurants and half (50%) have cut back on going out for entertainment, while two in five (41%) engaged in less leisure travel and vacation and shopping for clothing and shoes (40%).

The good news is that although Taiwanese consumers are exhibiting cautious spending behaviors, nearly three-quarters (74%) indicated that they are planning to buy a big-ticket item in the next year or two. Topping the list by a substantial margin and proving Taiwan’s thirst for the latest technology; is personal electronics (56%), followed by home electronics (29%), and home appliances (21%).

“Despite the prudence and careful spending attitude, many still do plan to make big-ticket purchases,” observed Tsai. “It is important for brands to ensure that they have a strong understanding of consumer sentiment, their aspirations and concerns, and also demonstrate their commitment to support them throughout their purchase journey by offering value and provide them reasons to feel good about purchasing your brand,” she concluded.

The consumer insights detailed in this article are drawn from analysis of GfK’s largest, longest-standing and most robust consumer trends study in the world – Roper Reports? Worldwide. The latest survey was conducted in Jan-Feb 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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By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

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