A survey by Hakuhodo, a Japanese advertising company that looks into market search and conducts advertising surveys has found several traits among women shoppers in South East Asia. The agency surveyed women aged 15-54 in seven major cities in the region, asking them about their interests and habits.

They later categorise the habits that the women exhibited during their shopping escapades. This information is crucial because it helps you know about your target audience better. Knowing them will allow you to make the right decisions to target them towards your business or educate you about the relevance of your business to the community.

Ho Chi Minh City that clasped their freedom from the Communist forces 40 years ago does not dwell in the past. In fact is very much urbanised. No longer war-torn, this city has begun to flaunt its wealth with motorcycles and cars causing heavy traffic and cafes popping up everywhere and their share of great shopping.

According to the survey 41% of their total survey pool in Ho Chi Minh consists of women in the ‘Sensitive Selfies’ category. By ‘Sensitive Selfies’ they mean that women here are more independent and are rather brand-conscious. These women will visit shops to gather information about brands and great buys. They also have then tendency to buy on impulse. Based on the study, these women would spend money on fashion, hobbies and socializing; even when the cost to do so is high. Strongly influenced by trends and the latest fashion, most also would like to be different and positioned higher from others.

The gap between the wages among women here can be quite large with business owners to those who are older and fall the lower income bracket. The buying power comes from women from the average age of 33.1 years.

According to 2010 fashion and beauty study by Bain & Company with Vogue, they have uncovered the kinds of stores or items that these brand conscious women are attracted to. In the findings, it states that the most important characteristic of winning brands is that it fits personal style (44%), always has something that consumers like (44%), fits them well (44%),  or trusted (35%). Surprisingly, rating low on the scale is good value money (9%) showing that price or value is not exactly a factor for a winning brand.

Perhaps if you are looking at opening a store or franchise in this growingly bustling city, it’s time to take note of these factors about your brand. Will it fit and cater to the wants of the women shoppers in HCMC?