Consumers in the Asia-Pacific have high expectations of the overall shopping experience, a survey by CBRE has found.

The region shared very similar preferences, with all age groups ranking affordability, cleanliness and security as the main factors.

However, unlike other countries where price was the most important factor, Vietnamese consumers prioritised security and cleanliness over price.

Though Vietnamese appreciated a wide range of retailers at a shopping destination, the presence of specific retailers, department stores or foreign brands was less important.

Entertainment facilities turned out to be less important than the "basic" ingredients of price, cleanliness and security. Given that contemporary shopping centres increasingly focus on food and entertainment services and events designed to create compelling experiences for shoppers, this outcome might seem disappointing.

Nevertheless, the survey found that more than 50 percent of respondents aged between 18 and 34 felt that such facilities are fairly or very important in their decision.

"The rapid growth of young Vietnamese consumers highlights that a strong experiential offering consisting of leisure (including food and beverages) and entertainment will be a powerful tool for shopping centres to ensure long-term competitiveness and thus the increased value of retail real estate," Richard Leech, executive director of CBRE Retail Services, Southeast Asia, said.

Seventy-eight percent of surveyed respondents were willing to travel up to 30 minutes to get to their preferred shopping centres. "The completion of metro lines in the next few years will certainly shorten the travelling time that customers are willing to spend," Duong Dung, head of CBRE's research and consulting department in Vietnam, noted.

In the next two years 25 percent of respondents expected to shop less often in a store, with 45-50 percent saying they would shop online via desktop/laptop or smart phone/tablet more often than they did now.

Surprisingly, an even greater proportion of consumers (69 percent) aged 55-64 thought they would use their smart phone/tablet more frequently to buy non-food items.

Done in August 2014, CBRE's first ever consumer survey polled 11,000 consumers in 11 major cities across the Asia Pacific, including 1,000 aged 18 to 64 in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.-VNA