Girl Power: Women Are The Key To Asia’s E-Commerce Industry

We’re sure it will come as no surprise that women are leading the revolution in online shopping and e-commerce in Asia.

The Economist’s recent report On The Rise And Online conducted an extensive survey of women across the region. Its findings were clear: the key to succeeding in the Asian e-commerce market is to find out what women want, and then give it to them.

Easy, right?

For those struggling to tap into the increasingly valuable Asian Female market, The Economist‘s key findings on this ever-evolving demographic make for interesting reading.

Here’s our summary of the report.


43 percent of the women surveyed were in managerial, executive or professional service jobs.

Many at least contribute to their household income and some even describe themselves as the sole breadwinners.


Asian women are increasingly independent in handling their own finances.

Over two thirds of the women surveyed owned their own bank account and almost half have credit cards.

Most control decisions on groceries, clothing and children’s products and are general co-deciders in other household products, like electronics.

Online shoppers

Women are driving the growth of online shopping in the region and many prefer it to offline shopping.

Almost 80 percent buy groceries online while 90 percent have bought clothing and accessories online.

Selfish shoppers

Over 62 percent of women are buying for themselves when browsing online.

41 percent say they succumb to ‘guilt shopping’, where they’ll buy something for their partner or child when they feel they’ve overindulged themselves.

Online > Offline

Online shops are considered cheaper, better stocked and less stressful than traditional shopping.

A shocking 27 percent of the women surveyed feel shop staff talk down to them just because they are women.


Women are shopping anywhere and everywhere so online retailers need a strong mobile interface.

28 percent of women shop online via work computers, 45 percent use smartphones at home and just under 30 percent also shop in bed.

Personal service

Women want retailers to build accurate customer profiles so communications are targeted and useful.

61 percent want to be rewarded for loyalty too.

Marketing contradictions

While 56 percent of women said they liked to be marketed to as independent and intelligent consumers, 54 percent also said that they liked to be addressed as wives, mothers and girlfriends.

Successful marketing must find the sweet spot between the contradictions.

What does the future look like?

The future of e-commerce in Asia is mobile and impulsive, driven by the whims of younger women.

Are you ready for the revolution?


Featured image is by livetheshot and is used under a Creative Commons licence



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Staff Writer for What's On Sukhumvit

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