• Indonesians, followed by Malaysians and Chinese most likely to choose a product based on whether it is fair trade, environmentally friendly or donates a portion of proceeds to charity, Kiwis and Australians least likely
  • Chinese most likely to consider whether a merchant acts ethically when choosing where to shop, Japanese least likely
  • The two most important ethical issues for shoppers in the region are whether the merchant is environmentally responsible and whether a product is fair trade
  • Downloadable infographics can be found here

Twitter: #MasterCard’s report shows #emergingmarkets in #AsiaPacific more likely to shop ethically
http://news.mstr.cd/1MwUBv6

Singapore, 2 April 2015 MasterCard has revealed that consumers in emerging markets across Asia/Pacific are more likely to choose a product based on whether it is perceived as more socially responsible than those in developed markets. Overall, products which are fair trade have the most appeal. Consumers in emerging markets are also more likely to buy from merchants that act ethically. When choosing where to buy from, the most important ethical issue for shoppers is whether the merchant is environmentally responsible. The results are based on interviews that took place between October and December 2014, with 500 people aged 18-64, in each of the 14 markets.

Top findings:

  • Overall, Indonesians (78.7%), Chinese (73.8%), Malaysians (73.8%) and Thais (73.6%) are most likely to consider whether a product is fair trade, environmentally friendly or donates a portion of proceeds to charity when buying.
  • Purchases of socially responsible products are lowest in Australia (29.2%) and New Zealand (33.6%).
  • More than half (56.6%) of shoppers in Asia/Pacific are likely to purchase a product because it is ethical.
  • Across the countries polled an average of 64.0% purchased products based on fair trade principles, 58.8% bought products which are environmentally friendly and 47.0% purchased products donating a portion of their sales to a good cause.
  • Chinese shoppers (68.3%) are most likely to buy products from a merchant that they consider ethical, followed by Thais (68.0%) and Malaysians (64.3%).
  • Consumers in Japan (20.9%)are least likely to consider whether a merchant acts ‘ethically’ when shopping, followed by consumers in Korea (28.8%) and Hong Kong (29.9%).
  • The most important ethical issue for shoppers in the region when choosing where to buy from is whether the merchant is environmentally responsible (46.5%).

Georgette Tan, Group Head, Communications, Asia/Pacific said: “People in emerging markets are increasingly concerned about the impact of rapid growth on the environment and society. It is not surprising that they are more likely to think of the supply chain and ethics of a merchant when deciding what to buy and where to shop.”

The findings lend support to MasterCard’s Purchase with Purpose initiatives, which involve cardholders in the company’s efforts to give back to the community whenever they use their MasterCard cards. A percentage of the cost of an item is channeled to causes supporting women and education – giving the underprivileged a chance at learning a skill, championing further education, raising awareness of health issues, supporting the cause for environmental protection, among others.

ethical shopping infographic

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
Georgina Mallory, Weber Shandwick, gmallory@webershandwick.com, +65 6825 8026

Appendix: Data in full

Reasons for Buying Certain Items

They are environmentally friendly They are based on fair trade principles A percentage of the sale is donated to a good cause Average for country
Indonesia 80.0 84.2 71.8 78.7
Malaysia 77.4 78.6 65.4 73.8
China 74.3 85.0 62.1 73.8
Thailand 75.8 85.4 59.6 73.6
India 79.6 74.1 65.1 72.9
Philippines 76.4 77.4 60.8 71.5
Vietnam 79.8 78.0 49.6 69.1
Taiwan 48.6 78.6 45.4 57.5
Singapore 44.7 46.2 38.8 43.2
Japan 36.3 57.8 23.9 39.3
Korea 43.0 43.6 28.0 38.2
Hong Kong 38.4 42.6 32.4 37.8
New Zealand 36.3 35.1 29.3 33.6
Australia 31.7 29.7 26.1 29.2
Average for issue 58.7 64.0 47.0

56.6

Likelihood to Purchase from Different Merchants

Socially responsible Partnering with / donating to charities Environmentally responsible Financially responsible Give back to community Average for country
China 70.1 65.5 73.5 68.5 63.7 68.3
Thailand 73.9 65.7 69.8 62.6 67.8 68.0
Malaysia 65.6 63.4 65.6 66.0 60.8 64.3
Philippines 62.6 57.6 64.8 60.0 60.0 61.0
India 59.3 53.1 57.9 56.1 50.5 55.4
Indonesia 58.8 51.6 57.6 59.0 47.6 54.9
Vietnam 46.2 43.4 43.6 38.8 44.0 43.2
Taiwan 45.4 41.6 45.8 39.8 38.4 42.2
New Zealand 37.3 41.9 35.9 42.5 39.1
Singapore 33.5 30.7 33.6 30.7 30.6 31.8
Australia 30.9 29.9 32.7 31.7 32.5 31.5
Hong Kong 32.6 29.8 35.2 21.8 30.2 29.9
Korea 29.2 30.8 33.8 24.8 25.4 28.8
Japan 26.0 17.1 22.1 21.2 18.3 20.9
Average for issue 46.3 42.5 46.5 42.2 42.2 43.9