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Eighty-Seven Percent of Taiwanese Consumers Consider Shopping, Purchasing Online

TAIPEI, August 27, 2014 – Online purchase intentions around the world have doubled since 2011 for many durable and entertainment-related categories including e-books, event tickets, sporting goods and toys, according to a new study conducted online by Nielsen. Nearly half of global respondents intend to make an online purchase in the next six months in high-prominence categories including clothing (46%), airline (48%) and hotel (44%) reservations.  Comparing to the global average, Taiwan online consumers show high intentions toward online shopping.

The top five online purchasing categories for Taiwan consumers are clothing/accessories/shoes (45%), tours/hotel reservations (42%), airline ticket/reservations (38%), event tickets (movie, performance/exhibition/game, etc., 36%) and groceries (food and beverages, 32%).

“The lightning-fast pace of change in the digital landscape has ushered in a consumer mindset that is both adventurous and exploratory when it comes to online shopping. Consumers everywhere want a good product at a good price, and the seemingly limitless options available in a virtual environment provide new opportunities for both merchants and consumers. The market for fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) is no exception, especially when the FMCG growth rate in Taiwan on physical channels is only 0.4 percent,” said Terri Kang, Retailer Services Director, Nielsen Taiwan.

The Nielsen Global Survey of e-commerce polled more than 30,000 Internet respondents  in 60 countries to examine the online shopping and purchasing intentions of consumers worldwide. The study provides clarity about global consumers’ buying intentions for both consumable and non-consumable categories in the growing e-commerce landscape.

Online Buying or Browsing?

When it comes to shopping for airline tickets or making reservations for tours and hotels, and looking for clothes, there is mostly a one-to-one correlation between online searching and shopping—those who browse online also buy online, with less than 10 percent gap for each category.  In contrast, products more conducive to online browsing than buying include: mobile phones, electronic equipment, computer hardware/software, and cars/motorcycles. The browse-to-buy difference for these products is over 20 percentage points. 

Taiwan consumers appear to know how to leverage physical and virtual channels for their best interests—more than two-thirds (68%) “often look at products online before purchasing them in the store” and more than half (52%) “often check out products in the store before purchasing them online.” 

“Now is the time to create omni-channel experiences for consumers who are actively using both digital and physical platforms to research and purchase, as consumers increasingly don’t make a distinction between the two,” Kang commented.

Embrace E-commerce

Convenience and detailed product information are the key factors that attract Taiwan consumers to the online channel.  Over three-fourths (77%) of Taiwan respondents said “Shopping online is convenient,” close to seven-in-ten (69%) claimed “I like to read online reviews prior to purchasing a product,” and two-thirds would spend considerable time researching products online prior to buying.  

Price also matters. More than half said they can usually get the best price buying products online and “deals at online retailers are better than those in stores” (both 52%). Though over three-in-five (63%) feel shopping online is fun, the percentage is still 10 percentage less than Asia Pacific average.


*While an online survey methodology allows for tremendous scale and global reach, it provides a perspective on the habits of existing Internet users, not total populations. In developing markets where online penetration is still growing, audiences may be younger and more affluent than the general population. In addition, survey responses are based on claimed behavior, rather than actual metered data.

About the Nielsen Global Survey

The Nielsen Global Survey of E-commerce was conducted between Feb. 17 and March 7, 2014, and polled more than 30,000 consumers in 60 countries throughout Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and North America. The sample has quotas based on age and sex for each country based on its Internet users and is weighted to be representative of Internet consumers. It has a margin of error of ±0.6 percent. This Nielsen survey is based only on the behavior of respondents with online access. Internet penetration rates vary by country. Nielsen uses a minimum reporting standard of 60 percent Internet penetration or an online population of 10 million for survey inclusion. The Nielsen Global Survey, which includes the Global Consumer Confidence Index, was established in 2005.

About Nielsen

Nielsen N.V. (NYSE: NLSN) is a global information and measurement company with leading market positions in marketing and consumer information, television and other media measurement, online intelligence and mobile measurement. Nielsen has a presence in approximately 100 countries, with headquarters in New York, USA, and Diemen, the Netherlands. For more information, visit