BANGKOK -- People in Thailand shop online through social media more than anyone else, a recent survey shows.
A growing number of farmers and others in Thailand sell their products on Facebook. A survey by the consultancy PricewaterhouseCoopers, covering 25 countries and regions, found that 51% of online shoppers in Thailand made purchases via social media, ranking them first. The average for all countries was 16%. A PwC representative said consumers in emerging markets are more likely than others to be influenced by social networking services.
Some market watchers say the tendency of Thai consumers to shun credit cards could slow the expansion of online shopping, but that growth can still be expected. As many as 83% of Thai consumers, the highest percentage among Southeast Asian countries, responded that they prefer to use cash when shopping online, 8 percentage points higher than the global average. In contrast, 78% of Singaporeans said they would make credit card payments, 20 points higher than the global average.
Scott Constance, senior executive director and retail and consumer consulting leader for PwC southeast Asia consulting, said the market for credit card payments will expand in Thailand as well, once local consumers get accustomed to them. Southeast Asia, where smartphone penetration is high, has great growth potential, he said.