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Study: 82% in SEA make purchasing decisions based on influencers and celebrities

Study: 82% in SEA make purchasing decisions based on influencers and celebrities

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Around 70% of Singaporean survey participants, and 82% of participants in Southeast Asia, have admitted to being influenced by recommendations from influencers or celebrities in their purchasing decisions.

Notably, beauty products lead the way, with 72% of female respondents favouring such purchases. Fashion and shoes closely follow, attracting 55% of female participants, while groceries and food also secured substantial interest at 40%.

Conversely, the male demographic displayed distinct preferences, with electronics topping the list at 50%, followed closely by fashion and shoes at 48%, and beauty products at 47%.

These were the results gleaned from a study by influencer and affiliate partnership management platform, It collaborated with eCommerce market intelligence company, Cube Asia, to release an in-depth research report on influencer marketing trends in Southeast Asia. The report contained insights on the relationships between consumers, brands, influencers, and emerging digital trends in Southeast Asian markets such as Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines.

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The report also highlighted key takeaways for brands looking to create or expand their influencer strategies. For example, in Singapore, YouTube is the leading platform for brands with 81.7% of current users as compared to Facebook’s at 74.7%, TikTok at 67.5%, and Instagram’s at 61.9%.

In Malaysia, YouTube also leads with 84% of current users, compared to Facebook's 83%, TikTok's 79%, and Instagram's 71%.

Additionally, consumers were found to have diverse connection preferences, with TikTok and YouTube as go-to platforms for engaging with celebrities and influencers.  Facebook on the other hand is more commonly used for connecting with friends and family.

Consumers also tend to diversify their choice of influencers to follow with approximately 33.6% of respondents following a range of 1 to 10 influencers and celebrities regularly, while 31.8% indicating a broader engagement with 11 to 30 of them.

The reasons for following these influencers vary, including entertainment (73%), lifestyle inspiration (52%), and a desire to learn from influencers (51%). 72% of surveyed consumers also cite authenticity behind their reasons to trust influencer recommendations, demonstrating how genuine and trusted recommendations are pivotal in shaping consumer behaviour.

This trust factor significantly outweighs other factors such as being inspired by an influencer's lifestyle, which motivates 43% of respondents. 

As AI influencers become more popular, consumers are also equally divided in their opinions towards them, the study explained. When asked how they would feel discovering that an influencer they follow is an AI, the most prevalent responses were feelings of upset (34.6%), followed closely by indifference (32.7%), and excitement (31.4%).

This is interesting considering that in a separate study by Capgemini Research Institute earlier this year found that 70% of Singaporean consumers, compared to 73% of consumers globally, trust content created by generative AI. This spans across many aspects of life, from financial planning and medical diagnosis, to even relationship advice.

It was also found that 70% of consumers globally use generative AI tools to seek recommendations for new products and services and that 65% of Singaporean consumers, compared to 64% globally, are open to making purchases based on these recommendations.

“In recent years, Southeast Asia has witnessed a remarkable surge in influencer marketing, leading a marketing transformation in the region. The industry is expected to exceed US$2.59 billion by 2024,” said Antoine Gross, general manager, Southeast Asia and India,

“Singapore's anticipated ad spending in the influencer advertising market is poised to reach US$93.15 million in 2023, highlighting its substantial market size and the need for brands to extract valuable insights," he added.

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