Study shows growing preference for mobile shopping

Economy November 18, 2015 01:00

By The Nation

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The growth of Thailand's eCommerce industry continues as consumers show growing preference for mobile payments, according to the Visa Consumer Payment Attitudes Study 2015 . The study revealed that two-thirds of Thai consumers |shop online at least once a



 

 

The study identified trends in |payments behavior among consumers |in six Southeast Asian markets including Thailand. It showed categories where consumers are more likely |to shop via mobile devices as well |as determining emerging categories.

"Though Thailand’s eCommerce industry is still in its nascent stage, it is growing rapidly. Categories such as fashion and accessories, movie tickets, and bill payments will become key growth drivers as they have low online share but high frequency of purchase. The high proportion of transactions made via smartphones also presents a strong opportunity for growth," said SuripongTantiyanon, Visa Country Manager, Thailand.

Thailand has an internet penetration rate of 29 per cent , but relatively low eCommerce engagement compared to countries with similar internet penetration. Though the proportion of active cardholders who shop online remains low, a surge in transactions made through smartphones indicates consumers are going mobile first. The proportion of Thai respondents who said they shop online at least once a month has increased to 66 per cent from 64 per cent in last year’s study. Their average online shopping session now lasts for 46 minutes. Their top reasons for doing their shopping online are the advantage of having the goods delivered directly to them (40 per cent), overall convenience(37 per cent), better price (15 per cent), and greater choice of products (8 per cent).

Products and services that were the most popular among those purchased online include software, apps and app-related content (53 per cent), events and concerts (53 per cent), travel services (47 per cent), and digital content like games, music, and videos (40 per cent).

The study also revealed that merchants are missing sales opportunities due to transactions being abandoned (57 per cent). The top reasons for abandoning purchases included slow loading pages (35 per cent), difficulty in navigating websites (24 per cent), unclear or lengthy buying processes (19 per cent) and concerns about security (16 per cent).

There has been a significant shift towards using smartphones and tablets for eCommerce. Over half of the respondents have used a mobile device for online purchase, and 32 per cent noted this was their preferred method. The momentum is strong as 42 per cent of respondents suggested mobile devices would become their preferred shopping mode next year, with strongest appetite coming from men.

The trend is good news for retailers. The study found that over three-quarters (76 per cent) of consumers would shop using their favorite store’s mobile app, if it was available. And almost seven in ten have expressed keen interest in shopping through a mobile optimised site (68 per cent).

The growing preference for mobile devices in online shopping is not only prevalent in Thailand. A separate Visa study in 2015 revealed that consumers in 13 Asia Pacific markets reported an average 22 per cent increase from 2014 in shopping using mobile devices (mobile phones and tablets) over desktop computers.