Thais lead the world in online shopping following a behavioural shift during the pandemic as people move towards e-marketplaces, says Wunderman Thompson, a global marketing communications agency.
This was reported in the company’s Future Shopper 2021, a global survey of 28,000 respondents in 17 markets, including 1,025 from Thailand across the X, Y and Z generations.
“Thais lead the global trend of online shopping, indicating a pivotal shift in shoppers’ mindset that will help establish a healthy and strong e-commerce mentality and behaviour in the post-pandemic world,” said Maureen Tan, chief executive of Wunderman Thompson Thailand.
The survey found that 94% of Thai consumers — the highest in the world and higher than the global average of 72% — said online shopping had come to their rescue in 2020.
Some 90% of Thais — above the global average of 62% — indicated they will use digital channels more in the future as they are comfortable with technology and concerned about shopping at physical stores.
The survey also noted that 45% are willing to spend 1,000-8,000 baht per purchase.
Even though spending on shopping offline is still higher than online, the latter continues to rise, Ms Tan said.
Some 62% of Thai respondents said they spent more on online shopping during the pandemic and 92% indicated they will continue to do so post-pandemic.
Sean Lee Ong, director for planning at Wunderman Thompson, said the rise of online shopping has provided brands a new opportunity to tap into but that customers also expect more.
Brands need to figure out ways to improve the online shopping experience for customers in line with their needs, he noted.
In Thailand, the omnichannel or mixed offline-online approach is still important, he said.
Some 82% of Thai respondents — the highest rate in the world — said they prefer shopping with brands that have both physical and online stores. Moreover, about 95% of respondents state they think retailers need to improve their products, services and shopping experiences.
E-marketplaces topped online shopping channels for Thais (45%), followed by retailer sites (11%) and social media (10%).
According to Mr Ong, brands should consider a long-term strategy by bringing back traffic from e-marketplaces to their own sites.
Brand websites, mobile apps and retailer sites today are among the least visited channels, he said.
Social commerce plays an important role in online shopping in Thailand with 66% of Thais saying they shopped through social platforms — the highest rate in the world and above the global average of 44% — with Facebook being the most preferred channel.
More than half of online shoppers are gamers. Throughout the pandemic, Thais have had more time to play games with 54% playing on mobile phones and 32% on computers.
According to the survey, 69% of Gen X respondents in Thailand said they expect delivery within two to three days while 88% of millennials rely on credible reviews before making a purchase online.
Meanwhile, 76% of Gen Z respondents said they are very comfortable with digital technology.