The Thailand Consumer Survey
Onwards and upwards
Thailand is home to some of the more sophisticated consumers in Southeast Asia. Cautiously optimistic about the economy, Thai consumers are generally sensible spenders who consume within their means. Despite this disposition, however, their purchasing decisions do not always hinge on the issue of price.
In our first-ever consumer survey conducted in the two cities of Bangkok and Chiang Mai earlier this year, we found that the urban Thai consumer focuses on finding the right product – one that possesses the right set of product attributes to satisfy their unique needs and desires. And the higher their purchasing power, the greater their willingness to pay for these specific attributes.
But it is not just about product functionality – urban Thai consumers are a trendy crowd. This emphasis on keeping up with the latest styles is particularly pronounced in the Clothing and Footwear, and Consumer Electronics and Appliances categories. Most notably, when purchasing Clothing and Footwear items, how the item fits matters more than the comfort that it offers. Catering to such discerning consumers will require consumer products and retail companies to possess an equally astute understanding of their behaviours.
Modern Trade channels dominate the retail landscape in the major cities. Among these, Hypermarkets are the clear pack leader with their wide range of product offerings, frequent promotions and, most importantly, their ability to integrate other amenities such as banks, restaurants and other specialty stores under the same roof. Yet Traditional Trade channels still retain some of their appeal. Mom and Pop Stores are located in convenient, residential areas and are sometimes perceived to be offering lower prices – even if that may not always be the case. The viability of this channel, however, is facing challenges as consumers are increasingly drawn to the 24/7 convenience and greater product range offered by Minimarkets.
Thailand's e-commerce market is fast growing and remains a promising untapped market given Thailand’s 68 million population and high mobile, social media and Internet penetration rates. Concerns over payment security remain its main roadblock, but alternative payment methods such as cash-on-delivery have encouraged greater adoption of online channels.
If one thing is certain, it is that the promising market of Thailand is on an onwards and upwards trajectory. We hope that this report will provide you with some insight into the various considerations that will need to be made in order to effectively harness this growth.
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