Hong Kong SAR, China flag Hong Kong SAR, China: Buying and Selling

Advertising and marketing in Hong Kong SAR, China

Marketing opportunities

Consumer Profile

The population of Hong Kong enjoys the world’s longest life expectancy, with men living on average 80.9 years and women 86.5 years. However, Hong Kong also has one of the world's lowest birth rates (0.8% in 2022) (CIA), with the median age of the population being 47.3 years (Census and Statistics Department, 2021). 21.6% of the population is below 25 years of age, 42.6% is between 25 and 54, 17.2% is between 55-64 and 18.5 is 65 or older. Additionally, there are 86 male every 100 female (CIA). The population is mainly ethnically Chinese (91.6%), and non-Chinese ethnic groups representing less than 9% of the population. Of these minorities, Filipinos are the biggest group (2.7%), followed by Indonesians (1.9%) (Census and Statistics Department, 2021). According to the Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong, households tend to be small, comprising 2.7 persons in average in 2022.  In 2021, 19.6% of households were made up of one person, 29.4% of two people, and 23.8% of three people. On the other hand, households with four people only represented 17.6% of all households, while those with 5 people represented 6.7%, and houses with over 6 people accounted for a mere 2.9%. Only 31.3% of women and 36.9% men have post-secondary education. Public administration, social and personal services accounts for 30.1% of the workforce. They are followed by financing, insurance, real estate and professional and business services (23.6%); construction (8.8%); import/export trade (8.2%); transport and storage (7.4%); retail (7.2%); and accommodation and food services (6.5%) (Census and Statistics Department, Q1 2022).

Purchasing Power

GDP per capita in Hong Kong has been rising regularly but decreased to USD 59,234 (PPP) in 2020 (World Bank). The median monthly salary of employed persons is HKD 18,700 as of the second quarter of 2021 (Census and Statistics Department). Hong Kong’s disparity between rich and poor is currently the greatest it has been in 45 years, with a Gini coefficient of 0.539 in 2017 (Census and Statistics Department, latest data available). Lately, soaring property prices have pushed up rents and had a knock-on effect as businesses raise prices on goods and services, which made a big part of the population seek extra work. As the property market squeezes the city’s most vulnerable people, risks fuelling social tensions arise. Additionally, the wealthiest 10% of households earn nearly 44 times more than the poorest 10%. Women under the age of 20 earn slightly more than men of the same age group. However, women between 25-34 years earn 20% less on average than their male counterparts, and women between 45-54 earn 35% less than men do. Overall women are paid around 18% less than men. The gender pay gap widens with age because fewer women take up senior positions as more women leave the job market earlier than their male counterparts to take care of family. Ethnic minorities, particularly Pakistanis, have the lowest standard of living, given that they have the highest poverty rate in Hong Kong.

Consumer Behaviour

Hong Kong has the world’s most connected consumers. As such, e-commerce has been growing exponentially, and further growth is expected in the coming years. Not only does technology change how products are being sold, but also influencing and changing how products are researched, manufactured and marketed - affecting how consumers in Hong Kong shop and chose what they are buying. Additionally, e-commerce represents a notable facet of the overall consumer experience, especially among Millennials. Empowered by rising disposable incomes, consumers have become increasingly savvy and expect higher quality and first-rate customer service. Purchases are usually determined by the price, quality and technical specifications of the product, as well as after-sales service. Consumers look for high-quality products and competitive prices. Hong Kong consumers tend to prefer foreign products to domestic ones, given that they are highly influenced by Western trends. The Hong Kong market is particularly favourable to brands that are endorsed by Western celebrities, as well as Asian fashion icons. Consumers tend to be price sensitive but brand conscious, and they are particularly fond of luxury brands. In Hong Kong, face and social status are important, so brands that signal a high social and economic status are extremely popular, and consumers are happy to pay a premium. However, the retail and consumer products sectors are changing. Whereas previously flagship luxury stores dominated the shopping landscape in Hong Kong, fast fashion and lifestyle stores are increasingly prevalent. Additionally, the economic slowdown in China is rippling through the region causing a change in consumers’ choices and expectations, emphasising value and functionality of products. The purchasing power of millennial shoppers is increasing, shifting demand to new products that promote life experiences and healthy lifestyles, as well as shopping experiences that are more convenient. Rising health awareness is increasingly informing consumers’ shopping habits, particularly among the younger generations, so there is an increased demand for healthy and organic food. Hong Kong receives huge numbers of visitors from China every day, many of whom spend large amounts of money on the Island's many luxury stores. However, lately, the number of mainland tourists that go to Hong Kong to shop has been decreasing. For that reason, Hong Kong loosened its ‘one-trip-per-week’ cap on individual visits by Chinese tourists, invested on new tourist attractions, with the intention of drawing more visitors, and subsequently boost retail sales.

Consumers Associations
Consumer Council
Main Advertising Agencies
Members of Association of Accredited Advertising Agencies (AAAA) in Hong Kong

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Latest Update: July 2024