Indonesians continue to be the most mobile shoppers, with 14 per cent of consumers reporting that they mostly shop online using a smartphone, tablet or other mobile device, while Thai shoppers are close behind with 12 per cent regularly using a mobile dev
The top Western markets were the UK (12 per cent), US (10 per cent) and Spain (9 per cent).
Today Rakuten, the world’s third largest e-commerce marketplace and owner of Thailand marketplace Rakuten TARAD.com, releases insights from its E-commerce Index.
The results show that consumer interest in social shopping is up around the world, with 45 per cent actively recommending products on social media sites. Southeast Asian nations led the way in social shopping with those in Thailand (65 per cent), Malaysia (67 per cent) and Indonesia (78 per cent) the most likely to share their recommendations among the countries surveyed.
However, despite the strong social sharing habits, each of these countries had the lowest average online spending with less than US$300 (Bt8,7901) per person across all nations. The research found that the average spending across all markets surveyed was $725 per person over 2012.
Large differences were found between countries, with the UK leading the way, spending an average of $1,700, while at the other end of the spectrum, Thais only spent around $243 per person in 2012.
Pawoot Pongvitayapanu, managing director and founder of Rakuten Tarad.com, said Tarad.com had seen nearly 200-fold growth in traffic from social networks over the last 12 months, which is a trend highlighted by the research.
“Social is set to become increasingly important in the coming years,” he said.
Research firm Gartner predicted earlier this year that 50 per cent of information on new customers will be based on social network identities, such as “login with Facebook”, by the end of 2015, which is up from less than 5 per cent today.
“As an industry we need to build consumer confidence in social shopping platforms, while allowing shoppers to easily share content through these channels,” he said.
MOBILE VS IN-STORE VS ONLINE
Austria (46 per cent) and Germany (46 per cent) lead the way in preferring to stick with the bricks-and-mortar experience. However, consumers in Brazil and Taiwan prefer the shopping experience online to in-store (29 per cent of Taiwanese and 26 per cent of Brazilian respondents), while 18 per cent of Thai consumers recorded the same preference.
“Whether online, on mobile, or in-store, consumers are coming to expect a high level of customer services and uniform brand experience across all available channels. It’s no longer enough to merely have a website that compliments your brick-and-mortar presence. They must also ensure that they are offering shoppers all the information they require through their website or mobile offering,” he said.