Thai consumers are prepared to spend higher amounts shopping online, but expect more from their experience, including faster delivery, according to a survey by marketing communications agency Wunderman Thompson.
"Online shopping is no longer a trend, but has become the norm as the survey found that Thais are willing to spend more online," said Puvadon Tarasin, director of digital and customer relationship management for Wunderman Thompson, citing the Thai edition of the Future Shopper 2023 report.
The survey involved 1,014 respondents nationwide, 47% male and 52% female. Roughly 60% of respondents reside in Bangkok, while 40% live in the provinces, with an age range from 16 to over 55.
Marketplaces still lead in terms of shopping inspiration, but declined in comparison with social media and search engines.
Some 76% of respondents said they have encountered products or reviews on marketplaces that they suspected to be fake, which may lead consumers to look elsewhere, including comparison sites, brand websites and in-store.
At the search stage, major players from last year saw a significant decline, while more niche platforms such as price comparison websites, brand websites and in-store gained ground.
Consumers are now searching for information on brand websites almost as much as on social media channels.
Consumers' online spending is highly fragmented across multiple platforms, with the majority of online platforms accounting for less than 20% of total consumer spending.
The number of consumers who allocate more than 90% of their total spending online grew by 300% in 2023.
Consumers who spend between 1,000-35,000 baht grew 5-10% year-on-year.
The groups most comfortable spending more than 30,000 baht on a product online are younger millennials aged 25-34 and Gen X aged 45-54.
Though Shopee reported a decline, other marketplaces registered growth, as did retail sites, department stores, brand websites and niche channels like gaming and the metaverse.
Shoppers bought more frequently from brand websites than social media in 2023, a trend mainly attributed to consumer preference for clear incentives, high-quality information and accurate product descriptions.
The number of consumers purchasing on social media platforms grew from 62% last year to 80% this year.
Facebook continues to lead despite a significant decline from 61% to 38%, while TikTok surged from 8.11% to 29.8% as a purchase channel.
Live shopping events on social media remain an effective way to drive conversions, with 73% of all respondents indicating they have purchased an item after watching such an event.
However, live shopping does not drive social media loyalty.
The study found the main drivers for consumers to purchase more frequently on social media platforms are exclusive offers, pleasant experiences and fast delivery.
Online shoppers expect free or cheaper shipping and faster delivery.
Some 42% expect delivery within a few days. The number of consumers who expect delivery within 12 hours has grown by 30%, and 30% of Gen Z expect delivery within one hour.
In addition, online shoppers expect convenience and a variety of payment options.
They also want a more innovative and entertaining shopping experience, according to the survey.
Shopee and other marketplaces still provide the best online shopping experience, especially in terms of price and ease in finding products, noted the survey.
Drakon Sirakovit, chief strategy officer at Wunderman Thompson Thailand, said brands and retailers should provide a seamless shopping experience across all channels, including marketplaces, social media, search engines and in-store.