Asian Amer­i­cans’ buy­ing power is still on the rise

China Daily (Canada) - - ACROSSAMERICA - By KELLY CHUNG DAW­SON in New York kdaw­son@chi­nadai­

Asian Amer­i­can house­holds out­spend me­dian US house­holds by an av­er­age of 19 per­cent, and earn 28 per­cent more on av­er­age than the US me­dian in­come, ac­cord­ing to a con­sumer re­port re­leased by Nielsen this week. As early adopters of new tech­nolo­gies, they also lead in high-speed In­ter­net ac­cess, mo­bile con­nec­tiv­ity, use of so­cial me­dia and in the num­ber of in­ter­net pages viewed each month.

“With a rel­a­tively low cost of en­try and a po­ten­tially high re­turn on in­vest­ment, the Asian Amer­i­can mar­ket rep­re­sents a sig­nif­i­cant growth op­por­tu­nity for the na­tion’s busi­nesses that sell goods and ser­vices,” re­ported Nielsen, which pro­vides in­for­ma­tion about con­sumers in more than 100 coun­tries. “While pop­u­la­tion growth in the non-His­panic White seg­ment is slow­ing, Asian Amer­i­can con­sumers pro­vide growth op­por­tu­nity to your busi­ness by ap­peal­ing to a con­sumer base that is grow­ing, af­flu­ent, welle­d­u­cated, ge­o­graph­i­cally con­cen­trated, tech­no­log­i­cally savvy and has tremen­dous buy­ing power that con­tin­ues to soar.”

The Asian Amer­i­can pop­u­la­tion, which in­cludes peo­ple with ori­gins in China, Ja­pan, South Korea, Viet­nam and sev­eral other coun­tries, has ex­pe­ri­enced a 51 per­cent jump in size since 2000, but while growth of the His­panic pop­u­la­tion has been due to in-coun­try births, the Asian Amer­i­can pop­u­la­tion has grown largely in part due to steady im­mi­gra­tion. Three out of four Asian Amer­i­cans are for­eign-born, with 76 per­cent of Chi­nese not born in the US.

Chi­nese are the largest seg­ment of the Asian Amer­i­can pop­u­la­tion, at 22 per­cent, and In­dian Amer­i­cans fol­low at 19 per­cent.

Ad­di­tion­ally, the me­dian Asian Amer­i­can house­hold has grown 97 per­cent since 2000, with 28 per­cent of Asian Amer­i­can house­holds re­port­ing an in­come of more than $100,000. In com­par­i­son, 18 per­cent of US house­holds re­port the same.

As the lead­ing online shop­pers, 77 per­cent of Asian Amer­i­cans shopped online last year with an av­er­age of $2,500 spent, com­pared to 61 per­cent of all Amer­i­cans, who av­er­aged about half in spend­ing online.

Asian Amer­i­cans are also blur­ring the lines be­tween tra­di­tional and emerg­ing me­dia, play­ing a ma­jor role in the use of new tech­nolo­gies, Nielsen said. This is in part be­cause mo­bile us­age in Asia is 76 per­cent, and leads the world in broad­band us­age.

Among Asian Amer­i­cans, 14.4 per­cent use tablets, com­pared to 10.1 per­cent of the White pop­u­la­tion, ac­cord­ing to the re­port. They view 3,600 in­ter­net pages each month, around 1,000 more than the av­er­age In­ter­net user. The sites that they visit are not nec­es­sar­ily dif­fer­ent from those that the gen­eral pop­u­la­tion vis­its, but they tend to visit a site more of­ten and stay longer. For ex­am­ple, Asian Amer­i­cans visit com­puter and con­sumer elec­tron­ics sites 36 per­cent more of­ten and spend 72 per­cent more time there than the gen­eral pop­u­la­tion.

How­ever, tra­di­tional me­dia still play a dom­i­nant role in Asian Amer­i­can house­holds, with many view­ers watch­ing both main­stream and Asian­fo­cused TV chan­nels. Asian me­dia out­lets have grown 1,111 per­cent since 1999, ac­cord­ing to Nielsen.

“While some Asian Amer­i­cans can be reached through gen­eral English me­dia, mul­ti­ple stud­ies have shown that eth­nic­ity is core to the iden­tity of all mi­nori­ties, and Asians are no ex­cep­tion,” the re­port said. “To ef­fec­tively reach the ma­jor­ity of the Asian Amer­i­can mar­ket, it is im­per­a­tive for mar­keters to uti­lize the Asian-lan­guage and/ or Asian cul­ture me­dia to con­vey cul­tur­ally tai­lored mes­sages that can res­onate with the Asian Amer­i­can au­di­ence.”

A ma­jor uni­fy­ing fac­tor among “Asian val­ues” is a fo­cus on fam­ily, with 54 per­cent of Asian Amer­i­cans re­port­ing that a suc­cess­ful mar­riage is one of the most im­por­tant val­ues in life; 34 per­cent of the gen­eral pop­u­la­tion re­ported the same.

Buy­ing power in the Asian Amer­i­can de­mo­graphic was $718.4 bil­lion in 2012, and is ex­pected to top $1 tril­lion by 2017, ac­cord­ing to Nielsen.

“You can­not af­ford to keep Asian Amer­i­cans un­der the radar any longer,” Nielsen said of Amer­i­can busi­nesses. “This is a seg­ment that is vi­tal to your growth and suc­cess.”

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