“Asian Americans consider themselves to be practical and value the basics like good prices and reliable product quality when shopping. As this consumer group also highly values the opinions of their social circles, tapping into word-of-mouth buzz is a key factor in product discovery and building trust within this community. Crucially, resonating with this segment means being mindful not to treat them as a monolith as the population is made up of a vast array of unique demographics ranging from age to country of origin. Targeting Asian Americans must be done with careful consideration of who the exact sub-segment of this audience is, as these elements drive a sense of identity that is multi-dimensional.”

– Klaudia Kondakciu, Consumers and Cultures Analyst

This Report will look at the following areas:

  • The demographic makeup of Asian Americans
  • How Asian Americans describe themselves and their shopping behaviors
  • Sources used for product discovery
  • Shopping preferences of Asian Americans, including legacy brands vs newer brands and tangible items vs experiences
  • Factors that drive brand loyalty

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Key issues covered in this Report
        • Definitions
          • Market context:
          • Executive Summary

              • Top takeaways 
                • Market overview 
                  • Opportunities and challenges
                    • Asian Americans see themselves as practical, brands should position their product to be too
                      • Figure 1: Self-described shopping behaviors, 2022
                    • Getting the basics right is key to generating brand loyalty
                      • Figure 2: Product factors that lead to regularly shopping from a brand, 2022
                    • Word-of-mouth is central to increasing reach
                      • Figure 3: Sources used to discover new brands or products, 2022
                    • Key consumer insights
                      • Embracing everything omnichannel is a necessity
                        • Tangible products appeal to 18-24s, opening the door for retailers to lean into the circular economy
                          • Legacy brands are at an advantage – particularly with those over 55
                          • Asian Americans by the Numbers

                            • Asian Americans are the fastest growing racial group in the US
                              • Figure 4: Population by race and Hispanic origin, 2016-26
                            • Asian Immigration is leading population boom
                              • Figure 5: Asian American origin groups, 2019
                              • Figure 6: Santa Monica Brew Works Instagram post, 2022
                            • Family ties are tight in Asian American households, as average household sizes are larger
                              • Figure 7: Households, by type and race and Hispanic origin, 2021
                              • Figure 8: Marital status, by race and Hispanic origin, 2021
                            • A multi-generational approach can have mass appeal
                              • Asian Americans are wealthy and educated, though great disparity exists
                                • Figure 9: Median household income, by race and Hispanic origin of householder, 2020
                                • Figure 10: Educational attainment of people aged 18 or older, by age and race and Hispanic origin, 2020
                            • Market Factors

                              • Consumer sentiments show optimism despite rising prices
                                • Figure 11: Consumer Sentiment Index, 2007-22
                              • Sky-high prices will still impact spending habits
                                • It’s true, premium products can help consumers save
                                    • Figure 12: PicknPay Instagram posts, 2022
                                  • Asian Americans are more likely to be online shoppers
                                    • Figure 13: Frequency of online shopping in the past 12 months, 2022
                                  • Asian Americans have leaned into omnichannel shopping, brands should too
                                    • Figure 14: Percentage of total shopping done online over the past 12 months, 2022
                                    • Figure 15: Browns Fashion Instagram post, 2021
                                  • Increasing support of the Asian American community is seen in recent years, though more work is still required
                                    • Figure 16: Chase Instagram post, 2021
                                • Current Opportunities and Strategies

                                    • Meeting the needs of Asian Americans through the lens of the Rights Trend Driver
                                      • More authentic representation is a non-negotiable now and into the future
                                          • Figure 17: Netflix Instagram post, 2022
                                        • Meeting the needs of Asian Americans through the lens of the Wellbeing Trend Driver
                                          • Wellness will remain at the forefront
                                              • Figure 18: DEUX Instagram post, 2022
                                            • Meeting the needs of Asian Americans through the lens of the Experiences Trend Driver
                                              • Digital shopping set to become more engaging
                                                  • Figure 19: Shopee Facebook post, 2022
                                              • Marketing to Asian Americans: Fast Facts

                                                • How Asian Americans Describe Themselves

                                                  • Above all, Asian Americans see themselves as practical
                                                    • Figure 20: Top three words that best describe you (any rank), 2022
                                                  • Brands in the financial space are positioned to build lasting relationships
                                                      • Figure 21: Step – Safe & Simple, 2022
                                                      • Figure 22: Step Mobile Instagram post, 2022
                                                    • Practicality becomes more central with age
                                                      • Figure 23: Top three words that best describe you: practical (any rank) – Practical, by age, 2022
                                                      • Figure 24: DocMorris Weihnachtsfilm, 2020
                                                    • Help Asian American Gen Zs break out from behind their screens
                                                      • Figure 25: Top three words that best describe you – Introverted (any rank), Gen Z vs overall, 2022
                                                    • Digital communities can serve as a stepping stone for in-person interactions
                                                      • Figure 26: SMARTY Facebook post, 2021
                                                  • Self-described Shopping Behavior

                                                    • Over half of Asian Americans see themselves as bargain hunters
                                                      • Figure 27: Self-described shopping behaviors, 2022
                                                    • Highlight value beyond price
                                                        • Figure 28: A #HeyPC Story, 2022
                                                        • Figure 29: Preschoice Instagram post, 2022
                                                      • Surprisingly, affluent Asian Americans are more likely see themselves as bargain hunters
                                                        • Figure 30: Self-described shopping behaviors – Bargain hunter, by income, 2022
                                                        • Figure 31: Chase Sapphire Instagram post, 2022
                                                      • Emphasize customer service when appealing to Asian Americans 55+
                                                        • Figure 32: Self-described shopping behaviors – Someone who expects good customer service (online or in-person), 55+ vs overall, 2022
                                                        • Figure 33: Nordstrom Instagram post, 2022
                                                    • Product Discovery

                                                      • Asian Americans make product discoveries through their social circles
                                                        • Figure 34: Sources used to discover new brands or products, 2022
                                                      • Word-of-mouth travels fast and far, marketers can use this to their advantage
                                                        • Figure 35: Quiccs Instagram post, 2021
                                                        • Figure 36: Sumo Citrus Instagram post, 2021
                                                      • Turn to TikTok to capture the attention of Gen Z Asian Americans
                                                        • Figure 37: Social media channels used to discover new brands or products, Gen Z vs overall, 2022
                                                        • Figure 38: TikTok Instagram post, 2021
                                                        • Figure 39: TikTok Instagram post, 2022
                                                      • Use YouTube to connect to Asian American men
                                                        • Figure 40: Social media channels used to discover new brands or products, men vs women, 2022
                                                        • Figure 41: Waffles + mochi Instagram post, 2021
                                                        • Figure 42: Real Canadian Superstore – Super Food Anthem, January 2021
                                                        • Figure 43: Real Canadian Superstore Instagram post, 2021
                                                    • Shopping Preferences

                                                      • Legacy brands can lean on established trust when venturing into new territories
                                                          • Figure 44: Preference for older, bigger brands vs newer, smaller brands, overall vs 55+, 2022
                                                          • Figure 45: Ralph Lauren Instagram post, 2022
                                                        • Tangible products appeal to young and old – though they must be approached differently
                                                          • Figure 46: Preference for tangible items/products vs experiences, by age, 2022
                                                        • Use a sustainability approach to appeal to Asian Americans aged 18-24
                                                          • Figure 47: Preference for less-expensive, average quality items/products vs more-expensive, high-quality, 18-24 vs overall, 2022
                                                          • Figure 48: Nuuly Instagram post, 2022
                                                        • Tout tangible items as practical to appeal to older Asian Americans
                                                            • Figure 49: Le Mirko Febbrile Instagram post, 2022
                                                          • Simple packaging can attract older Asian Americans
                                                            • Figure 50: Yoplait Only 3 Simple Plain Yogurt, 2022
                                                          • Asian American parents are ready to step into the future – help them bring their kids along
                                                            • Figure 51: Attitudes and interests toward emerging technologies, parents vs non-parents, 2022
                                                            • Figure 52: Esports High School Instagram post, 2022
                                                        • Building Brand Loyalty

                                                          • Loyalty programs don’t automatically equate to loyalty: getting the basics of price and quality come first
                                                            • Figure 53: Product factors that lead to regularly shopping from a brand, 2022
                                                          • Price and quality are supreme
                                                            • Proving quality is key to justifying price points
                                                                • Figure 54: Patagonia Instagram post, 2021
                                                              • When done right, loyalty programs do serve to keep consumers loyal
                                                                  • Figure 55: Sephora Instagram posts, 2022
                                                                • The desire for quality products increases with age
                                                                  • Figure 56: Product factors that lead to regularly shopping from a brand – Reliable product quality by age, 2022
                                                                • Brands in the food and drink space are especially well-positioned to boast benefits
                                                                  • Figure 57: Gourmet honey with health claims, 2022
                                                              • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                • Data sources
                                                                  • Consumer survey data
                                                                    • Consumer qualitative research
                                                                      • Abbreviations and terms

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