September 04, 2012 00:00 By The Nation 2,598 Viewed
Thai netizen are the second most active online "info hunters" in the whole Asia Pacific region, with half scouring the Internet for product information on a daily basis, according to Nielsen latest report on consumers' online shopping behaviour.
The survey showed that in the region, 73 per cent of Thai netizen search info online.
More than 7 out of 10 Thai digital consumers claimed to actively compare prices of household/grocery goods and read product reviews online; while half of those who scoured the Internet for product information reported to have done so on a daily basis. Although price differences still impact Thais’ purchasing decision the most (58 per cent), product information and health factor were identified as equally important (57 per cent and 54 per cent consecutively). Out of all product offerings online, in contrast to Asia Pacific region where close to half (46 per cent) of its consumers especially in China and Korea claimed to prefer to buy apparel and accessories online, only two out of ten Thais indicated that they have done so. In addition, according to the survey, travel/transportation services was the most popular online product for Thais (39 per cent) where consumers could book and pay for the services in one go, followed by game/computer software (28 per cent).
“With internet penetration increasing exponentially throughout Asia, a growing number of consumers are turning to the Internet for everything from reading fellow consumers’ experiences with various products and services to making actual purchases online,” said Suresh Ramalingam, managing director of Nielsen Thailand and Vietnam. “With this growth set to continue, the Internet represents a huge opportunity for retailers and manufacturers to tap into a broader consumer base and increase engagement levels. The burgeoning online marketplace is bringing about more sophisticated eCommerce strategies and online retailers must maintain an up-to-date understanding of online consumer behaviour in order to keep pace.”
Still, online Thai consumers indicated that they still preferred physical hardcopy version of books, newspapers, or magazines rather than the electronic ones. 35 percent more Thais claimed to have purchased or subscribed to the hardcopies via online channels, while only 18 percent had done so for electronic reading materials.
“We believe that Thai consumers still perceive and prefer online content to be free-of-change, in contrast to the paid hardcopy version. Therefore, coupled with the long-instilled habit of reading on printed paper, the concept of paying for subscription or making a purchase of an electronic book, newspaper, or magazine is still far from being prevalent to Thais,” commented Suresh. “However, according to our Digital Consumer report, we have observed a significant increase in purchase intent on tablet computers as well as e-readers. Therefore, we are optimistic that we will see a migration of mode of reading preference in the near future.”