Hong Kong Residents More Avid Cyber-Shoppers

June 8, 1999 - 0:0
SINGAPORE Clock-watching Hong Kong residents are more avid cyber-shoppers than their Singapore counterparts who still yearn to touch and hold the products they buy, new studies showed Monday. "Once people are convinced to shop online, they will be willing to shop more often for higher-value items," said Ramesh Ramachandra, managing director of Technowledge Asia. From a sample of 1,199 Hong Kong Internet users, 43 percent have bought items using the net, according to the survey by the Singapore-based market research firm.

In contrast, a sample of 3,399 Singapore Internet users revealed only 25 percent purchased on line. Another survey, by Singapore press holdings, revealed only 14 percent of Singapore Internet users bought goods or services using the net. It found Singapore net users prefer to see advertisements in newspapers and on television than by clicking on the web. The results of both market studies were published in the Business Times. Hong Kong cyber-shoppers buy more often and pay higher prices compared to their Singapore counterparts.

The two surveys said the main reason people in both cities gave for buying on line is convenience. Those surveyed by technowledge who never bought online said they prefer to touch and feel goods. "Singapore is a nation of (physical) shoppers," Ramachandra observed. "In Hong Kong, the locals don't shop until they drop," Ramachandra was quoted as saying. "Hong Kong people are time-conscious." The majority of those who do shop via the Internet prefer to buy from merchants in the United States while only a tiny percentage are willing to buy from merchants in Asia. In both cities only a tiny percentage purchased adult entertainment over the Internet. Sixty-six percent of Hong Kong cybershoppers said they had no intention of purchasing adult entertainment over the net compared with 59.7 percent in Singapore. Singapore has Internet censorship while Hong Kong does not.

"If you remove censorship, it does not mean many people will go overboard and buy adult entertainment," Ramachandra said.