Online Shoppers in Thailand Shopping More Frequently: MasterCard Survey

Telecommunication Press Releases Monday June 8, 2009 10:37
Bangkok--8 Jun--124 Communications

The latest survey on online shopping habits by MasterCard Worldwide revealed that Thai online shoppers shopped more frequently with 80% of Thai respondents accessing the internet daily. The top reasons for using the internet are for receiving/sending emails (92%), followed by reading news online (80%), browsing materials for work or study (73%), browsing for leisure (70%), for online chat with friends (60%) and for online shopping (43%).

With the exception of Korea, Singapore and Hong Kong, all other markets surveyed showed an increased intention for future online shopping compared to a year ago including Thailand. - 69% of Thai online shoppers showed an intention for future online shopping, a slight increase (versus 66%) compared to a year ago.

This is the second survey on online shopping habits conducted by MasterCard. It covered 5,037 respondents across 10 markets: Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, UAE and South Africa with the latter two being new markets included in 2008. The inaugural survey was conducted in December 2007. The survey and the accompanying Insights Report do not represent MasterCard financial performance.

Among the total respondents, 501 were Thais between the ages of 18 and 64 years with personal bank accounts, an average income of US$22,269 , an average monthly credit card spend of US$629 and who accessed the internet at least once a week.

Highlights of Thai respondents include the following;
· 80% of the Thai respondents accessed the internet daily, 17% access 4-6 days a week, 3% access 2-3 days a week and 1% access once a week.
· The top reason for going online was for receiving/sending emails (92%), followed by reading online news (80%), and browsing material for work/study (73%).

· Thais mostly accessed the internet from home (74%) and from office (65%). However, a smaller number of them also accessed the internet through their mobile phones (10%), café or restaurant with personal laptop (5%), café or restaurant with public pc (4%) and from school/university/college (2%).

· Top 5 most visited websites for Thai respondents were (71%), hotmail (66%), facebook (28%), (27%) and Yahoo Mail (26%).
· Top 5 most visited merchant websites included home appliances and electronic products (46%), books / CDs / DVDs (44%), airlines (35%), travel agents (34%) and music download (32%).

· Checking for the latest information or products (82%) was the top reason for visiting merchant websites followed by checking promotional deals (70%), intending to make a booking or purchase (46%) and checking company’s information (20%).

· According to the survey, 55% of Thai respondents browse online but would only purchase online occasionally, 31% tend to browse online but would make the purchase through offline channels, 7% tend to browse and then purchase online and 7% and tend to browse and purchase through offline channels only.

· In the three months prior to the conduction of the survey, those Thai respondents who did not make any online purchase, did so because 64% prefer to shop in store to look at the physical product, 63% are not sure that making transactions online is secure or safe, 43% have not seen anything which interested them from the shops online, 32% are put off by the additional administrative and delivery charges while 21% didn’t think it was cost effective.

· Low price/substantial discount on prices compared to offline channels (67%) was the top reason that triggered impulsive shopping, followed by the uniqueness of products only available online (53%) and advertisements and promotions (50%).

· Top five products or services most frequently bought online for Thais included airline tickets (43%), books/arts (32%), home appliances/electronic products (32%), ladies clothing and accessories (30%) and hotel accommodation (29%).

· Rated on a scale of 1-5 with 5 being important and 1 the least, safe and secure payment facility offered by the site is the most important factor when considering making an online purchase (4.6). This is followed by convenient payment methods (4.4), price / value of items (4.3) and good customer service and speed of transaction (4.2).

· In order to improve online shopping, Thais think that sites should enhance payment security, improve users' confidence in online transactions (82%), should not have additional service charges (72%), should be more user-friendly (59%) with real time transaction (49%).

“Consumers realize the convenience and ease of shopping online as is evident from its growing popularity. The average number of online purchases in Thailand increased slightly from 1.8 in December 2007 to 2.0 in December 2008. As consumers move online for their shopping, and businesses look to grow their online retail presence, they need to be aware of the preferences and concerns that drive online shoppers. The findings of MasterCard’s latest Insights Report, Economic Crisis and Preference for Online Shopping in Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa offer valuable insights into the online consumption patterns of these consumers," said Eileen Wee, vice president and country manager – Thailand, MasterCard Worldwide.

Eileen Wee, MasterCard Worldwide, 0 2670 4088
Elizabeth Wongwasin, 124 Communications, 0 2662 2266 ext 216

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