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NIELSEN REPORT: OMNI-CHANNEL STRATEGY DRIVING GROWTH AS CONSUMERS EMBRACE BOTH ONLINE AND OFFLINE CHANNELS

E-commerce continues to make gains among consumers, with more people buying products online than ever before. According to the Nielsen Global Generational Lifestyles Survey, around 63% of Taiwanese consumers only shop at physical stores, a 9 percentage point drop since 2012, while those that shop at both online and in brick-and-mortar stores increased from 22% in 2012 to 31% — underscoring that more and more consumers are taking a blended approach toward physical and online shopping.

Nielsen released its eRetail Measurement Service (eRMS) today. Major e-commerce platforms in Taiwan are now in close data cooperation with Nielsen, allowing a more comprehensive view of the online market. Partners who currently have data sharing agreements with Nielsen include e-tailers like Eastern Home Shopping & Leisure, Yahoo Kimo Shopping and momo.com Inc, as well as physical retailers operating online channels such as Watsons, A.mart, Save & Safe, POYA, Taisuco, Cosmed, and FamilyMart. Robust sales data from retailers, combined with Nielsen’s retail measurement services allow retailers and manufacturers to gain a strong understanding of market performance both online and offline.

“As more consumers begin to shop online and adopt new technologies, retailers need to shift their strategy towards ‘omni-channel retailing’ and fully embrace digital commerce in order to thrive,” said Desmond Wang, Managing Director, Nielsen Taiwan. “Physical stores continue to hold key advantages and remain important for consumers, as more than 31% of Taiwanese consumers shop through both online and physical retail channels. However, there are retailers can still look for ways to optimize the in-store experience for shoppers through leveraging digital tools.”

“Understanding where consumers are shopping and for what categories gives retailers and manufacturers the insight needed to inform their distribution strategies. By partnering with key e-tailers and the online platforms of traditional retailers, Nielsen is able to provide a clear picture of Taiwan’s e-commerce market,” added Wang.

When it comes to buying online, not all products are created equal. Some categories are simply better suited for e-commerce than others. In the Nielsen survey, the top three categories Taiwanese respondents said they purchase online are travel (58%), books/music/stationary (53%) and fashion (42%). The same three categories also were the most popular among Asia Pacific consumers, albeit in a different order. In the Asia Pacific, 66% respondents said they bought fashion items online, closely followed by travel (64%) and books/music/stationary (53%).

Also, the report found both Taiwanese and Asia Pacific consumers prefer to buy wine, alcohol and immediate-use items like fresh groceries in-store, rather than online. 44% of Taiwanese consumers said they buy fresh groceries at a physical location, and 38% respondents said they opt for wine and alcoholic beverages sold in-store — respectively 1 percentage point and 4 percentage points higher than the Asia Pacific average.

“Lines between the physical and digital worlds are blurring. Consumers are now taking a blended approach, using whichever channel best suits their needs. The most successful brands will be those that leverage technology to merge commerce with e-commerce, integrating their digital channels with in-store infrastructure into a unified strategy, to satisfy shoppers whenever and wherever they want to shop,” said Wang.

In the survey, 85% of Taiwanese respondents expressed willingness to make their grocery purchases online and then pick up their order at a physical store or drop-off point — 6 points higher than the Asia Pacific average. Ordering online for home delivery is the most commonly preferred flexible retailing option in the region (94% Taiwan vs. 95% Asia Pacific).

Most Taiwanese online shoppers pointed to brick-and-mortar stores as the most important information source that influences their purchasing decisions — particularly for fresh groceries (43%), beauty and personal care products (31%), fashion items (35%) — while respondents said for consumer electronics, they are more heavily influenced by advertising messages offered on brand websites (43%).

When asked what are the top three advertising messages that would induce them to make a purchase, Taiwanese shoppers responded positively to “guaranteed money back for incorrect product delivery (88%),” “free delivery after spending a minimum amount (86%), “free delivery on weekdays (83%),” respectively. For Asia Pacific respondents, the only difference was the third-highest advertising message had been “precise delivery windows in 30-minute intervals (91%).”

The Global Survey also identified a comprehensive refund process as a key factor to attracting more consumers to buy fresh groceries online. Both Taiwanese and Asia Pacific consumers in general said they would be more willing to make purchases online if the e-retailer guarantees full refunds for fresh produce that fail to meet their expectations, or if they would be offered the same produce for free with their next purchase. Also, the impact of food safety incidents that hit the region in the past few years was underlined by Taiwanese respondents reporting they would shop online more if there were clear and complete sourcing records displayed alongside the produce, while Asia Pacific consumers show more concern for whether expiration dates are properly labeled.

ABOUT THE NIELSEN E-RETAIL MEASUREMENT SERVICE

The Nielsen eRetail Measurement Service (eRMS) provides customers with advanced online sales data analysis, after integrating a pool of sales figures provided by major e-commerce platforms in Taiwan including Eastern Home Shopping & Leisure, Yahoo Kimo Shopping and momo.com Inc, as well as physical retailers operating online channels such as Watsons, A.mart, Save & Safe, POYA, Taisuco, Cosmed, and FamilyMart.

ABOUT THE NIELSEN GLOBAL SURVEY

The findings in this survey are based on an online survey in 63 countries, conducted from October 31 10 to November 18, 2016. While an online survey methodology allows for tremendous scale and global reach, it provides a perspective only 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 of that country. Survey responses are based on claimed behavior rather than actual metered data. Cultural differences in reporting sentiment are likely factors in the measurement of outlook across countries. The reported results do not attempt to control or correct for these differences. Therefore, caution should be exercised when comparing across countries and regions, particularly across regional boundaries.

ABOUT NIELSEN

Nielsen Holdings plc (NYSE: NLSN) is a global performance management company that provides a comprehensive understanding of what consumers Watch and Buy. Nielsen’s Watch segment provides media and advertising clients with Total Audience measurement services across all devices where content — video, audio and text — is consumed. The Buy segment offers consumer packaged goods manufacturers and retailers the industry’s only global view of retail performance measurement. By integrating information from its Watch and Buy segments and other data sources, Nielsen provides its clients with both world-class measurement as well as analytics that help improve performance. Nielsen, an S&P 500 company, has operations in over 100 countries that cover more than 90% of the world’s population. For more information, visit www.nielsen.com