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Singapore, 8 May 2015 – New MasterCard research has found that across Asia Pacific, women are more likely than men to buy gifts for other people, while men are more likely to shop for themselves. Many of these will be presents bought by mothers for birthdays, New Year’s Day, Christmas and other festivities. Mother’s Day presents the perfect opportunity to redress this imbalance.

  • In 12 of the 14 Asia Pacific markets surveyed, women were more likely to buy presents for others than men. In Malaysia, women bought the same proportion of gifts as men. Only in Singapore were men more likely than women to buy presents for others.
  • Women in New Zealand were the most likely to buy presents for others with 34 per cent of online purchases being bought as gifts. Meanwhile Japanese men were the least likely to buy presents for others, with only 12 per cent of online purchases bought as gifts.

Full data can be found below.

While the responsibility of buying gifts for family members is so often left to women and mothers, Mother’s Day presents an opportunity to take the time to think about what the most important woman in most of our lives really wants.

In April, MasterCard launched a Mother’s Day campaign in which people from Hong Kong, Singapore, India, Australia and China shared the Priceless moment they would like to create for their mums and why, in the form of comments, photos or videos on MasterCard’s Facebook, Weibo and WeChat accounts. The most engaging story in each location will be rewarded with the Priceless Moment courtesy of MasterCard.

From these competition entries, MasterCard found that many people want to surprise their mother with something they have personally created, such as a home-cooked meal. Another common theme was wishing to provide mothers with a chance to take a break from their hectic lives so that they can relax with a getaway or a spa treatment.

Georgette Tan, Group Head, Communications, Asia/Pacific said: “It is clear that there is a gender imbalance when it comes to the buying of presents. It is often thought that women shop more for themselves than men but actually men are more likely to be spending money on themselves. This is despite the common expectation that men will make the bigger purchases for special occasions such as Valentine’s Day and anniversaries. Much of women’s shopping is on presents bought for family and friends, for birthdays, New Year’s Day, Christmas and other festivities. Mother’s Day provides the perfect opportunity to address this imbalance and think of the perfect present for the most important woman in our lives.”

Methodology

The question, ‘Approximately what percentage of your online purchases, in terms of value, are for items purchased for yourself?’ was asked as part of MasterCard’s Online Shopping survey. This was conducted online between October-December 2014 in 14 Asia Pacific countries (Australia, New Zealand, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam, and India). In each market there were 500 respondents, aged 18-64 years old. The respondents are all banked, access the internet at least once a week and are representative in terms of age and gender of the online population in that market.

About MasterCard

MasterCard (NYSE: MA), www.mastercard.com, is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate the world’s fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. MasterCard’s products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Follow us on Twitter @MasterCardAP and @MasterCardNews, join the discussion on the Beyond the Transaction Blog and subscribe for the latest news on the Engagement Bureau.

Media Contacts

Georgette Tan, MasterCard, georgette_tan@mastercard.com, +65 6390 5971
Samantha Yong, Weber Shandwick, samyong@webershandwick.com, +65 6825 8053

Gift giving data in full:

Question: Approximately what percentage of your online purchases, in terms of value, are for items purchased for yourself

TOTAL APAC Total 2014 Male Female
Base 6630 3506 3124
For yourself (%) 68.0 69.5 66.3
As gifts for somebody else (%) 20.8 19.4 22.4
For other reasons (%) 11.2 11.1 11.3

 

AUSTRALIA Total 2014 Male Female
Base 467 207 260
For yourself (%) 66.7 72.0 62.5
As gifts for somebody else (%) 22.4 19.7 24.6
For other reasons (%) 10.8 8.3 12.9

 

CHINA Total 2014 Male Female
Base 496 272 224
For yourself (%) 77.0 77.2 76.8
As gifts for somebody else (%) 15.6 14.4 17.1
For other reasons (%) 7.3 8.3 6.1

 

HONG KONG Total 2014 Male Female
Base 471 233 238
For yourself (%) 75.6 75.7 75.6
As gifts for somebody else (%) 16.1 15.8 16.4
For other reasons (%) 8.3 8.5 8.1

 

INDIA Total 2014 Male Female
Base 487 340 147
For yourself (%) 59.5 61.4 55.2
As gifts for somebody else (%) 24.8 24.0 26.7
For other reasons (%) 15.7 14.6 18.0

 

INDONESIA Total 2014 Male Female
Base 494 315 179
For yourself (%) 64.1 64.7 62.9
As gifts for somebody else (%) 20.8 19.8 22.5
For other reasons (%) 15.1 15.4 14.6

 

JAPAN Total 2014 Male Female
Base 435 242 193
For yourself (%) 82.4 83.8 80.7
As gifts for somebody else (%) 13.6 11.7 16.1
For other reasons (%) 4.0 4.5 3.2

 

MALAYSIA Total 2014 Male Female
Base 472 246 226
For yourself (%) 68.3 69.2 67.3
As gifts for somebody else (%) 17.7 17.7 17.7
For other reasons (%) 14.1 13.2 15.1

 

NEW ZEALAND Total 2014 Male Female
Base 441 194 247
For yourself (%) 62.3 71.6 55.0
As gifts for somebody else (%) 27.4 18.8 34.2
For other reasons (%) 10.3 9.6 10.8

 

PHILIPPINES Total 2014 Male Female
Base 459 221 238
For yourself (%) 57.9 61.2 54.7
As gifts for somebody else (%) 25.2 22.0 28.2
For other reasons (%) 16.9 16.8 17.1

 

SINGAPORE Total 2014 Male Female
Base 479 234 245
For yourself (%) 67.8 65.2 70.3
As gifts for somebody else (%) 20.7 22.1 19.3
For other reasons (%) 11.5 12.7 10.4

 

SOUTH KOREA Total 2014 Male Female
Base 482 243 239
For yourself (%) 71.6 73.7 69.5
As gifts for somebody else (%) 22.8 22.1 23.6
For other reasons (%) 5.6 4.2 6.9

 

TAIWAN Total 2014 Male Female
Base 490 264 226
For yourself (%) 75.7 76.2 75.1
As gifts for somebody else (%) 17.2 16.5 18.0
For other reasons (%) 7.1 7.3 6.9

 

THAILAND Total 2014 Male Female
Base 477 245 232
For yourself (%) 63.5 63.6 63.4
As gifts for somebody else (%) 22.0 21.9 22.1
For other reasons (%) 14.5 14.5 14.5

 

VIETNAM Total 2014 Male Female
Base 480 250 230
For yourself (%) 60.2 61.4 58.8
As gifts for somebody else (%) 25.0 23.9 26.3
For other reasons (%) 14.8 14.7 14.8