Hongkongers are open to indirect advertising and consuming content produced by influencers as long as it is entertaining, according to a survey conducted by digital media network VS Media.
VS Media conducted the survey in July, interviewing 309 Hong Kong residents aged between 18 and 45 via online questionnaires. The survey unveiled that 78% did not mind indirect advertising as long as the content produced by influencers was entertaining. Also, 73% trusted influencers' recommendations or reviews even if their content contained ads or involved paid partnerships.
In addition, 96% of respondents said they were interested in products or services recommended by influencers. The majority of female respondents expressed the strongest interest (62%) in recommendations on beauty and cosmetic products or services, while recommendations on communication and electronic products (48%) were the most popular category among male respondents.
When it came to the credibility of influencers, the survey also unveiled that 77% of respondents trusted influencers' product and service recommendations than those from celebrities; while 40% of them said they made purchase decisions directly based on influencers' recommendations.
Ivy Wong (pictured), founder and CEO of VS Media, said, "The survey reflects that the changing consumption patterns are accelerating the development and transition of the eCommerce ecosystem. Brands have shifted from marketing through traditional online stores to using major social media platforms now."
The survey also examined livestream shopping with 83% of respondents said they watched livestreaming eCommerce shows before. There were five reasons for them to watch these shows, namely "limited-time discounts and promotional offers"; "product demonstration can help consumers better understand the products"; "limited quantity sale"; "accurate description of product selling points" and "provision of useful product information". A total of 43% of the respondents made a purchase during livestreaming eCommerce shows before.
The survey also examined respondents' intention of becoming influencers. According to the survey, 65% of them aspired to become an influencer based on their personal interests or skills. Asked the reasons for their intention behind this, the respondents believed that they could enjoy a higher degree of career freedom and flexibility while earning considerable income. Nonetheless, 69% of them were not clear about the qualities and filming resources required to become an influencer. Moreover, 75% agreed that they would be more interested in becoming an influencer if a company could offer them one-stop filming and production support.
Lastly, the respondents' average monthly spending on online shopping amounted to HK$2,673. "As we can see from the survey results, consumers’ acceptance of indirect advertising has improved significantly, suggesting that the influence of influencers among consumers is also growing,” Wong said.
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