Thailand Internet User Profile 2013 Executive Summary


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Thailand Internet User Profile 2013 Executive Summary

  1. 1. 1 Executive Summary The 2013 Survey on Internet Users’ Profile in Thailand was conducted with the aim to gather information regarding Thai Internet users’ behavior, problems of their Internet usage, their utilization of free WiFi service of the Thai Government, as well as their usage of social media. The survey is divided into 2 parts, the first part covers basic information and Thai Internet users’ behavior, which is planned to be conducted on an annual basis. The second part covers the purchase of goods and services through social media, which has become very popular. The survey’s findings will be beneficial to relevant organizations, both public and private, and especially to e-commerce entrepreneurs. Such information could also be used to formulate policy that should enhance electronic transactions, as well as assist e-entrepreneurs in their decision--making. The survey was conducted online, beginning from the middle of April to the end of May, 2013. The total number of respondents was 23,907. Major Findings Basic Information and Internet Users’ Behavior Respondents consisted almost equally of residents of Bangkok and the provinces. Gender, age, educational level, occupation, and household income of respondents were also evenly distributed among different groups, and largely corresponded to Thailand’s demography. Therefore, information gained from these respondents can be used for a comparative analysis between each different group. In a period of 12 years from 2001-2013, weekly usage of the Internet has steadily increased to 76.3%. As many as 9% of the respondents spend over 105 hours on the Internet each week. Internet users living outside municipal areas in the provinces are more likely to use community ICT centers or government facilities than those residing in municipal areas and Bangkok. Regarding devices for Internet access, there was an increased trend in the use of portable devices, such as smartphones and tablets. Moreover, students, youths (younger than 15), and the elderly used Tablet PCs to access the Internet more than other age groups. As for
  2. 2. 2 the free WiFi service, users in provincial areas were 66.1% satisfied with the service quality, a higher level of satisfaction expressed by users from municipal and Bangkok areas. Social media was gaining more popularity as an activity of choice, while checking e-mails and searching for information were still the most important activities. It was of some concern that children and youths still used the Internet mainly for entertainment purposes, such as playing online-games or downloading songs, dramas, or computer games. As for the problems of Internet usage, most respondents were concerned with the speed and latency of access, which was different from previous surveys where prevalence of computer viruses was the main concern of users. The cause of the latency could have stemmed from increasingly varied applications and services which required higher capacities and speed from the networks. Purchasing goods and services through social media It was found that 93.8% of respondents had used some services through social media. From this group of respondents, the most popular devices for accessing social media were smartphones, desktop computers, and laptop computers, in that order. When divided by age group, each group of respondents had differing preferences for devices that they used to access social media. Respondents aged between 15 - 19 and over 40 preferred accessing social media through desktop computers, while respondents aged between 20-24 preferred laptop computers, and respondents aged between 25-39 preferred smartphones. Most popular social media platforms were Facebook, Google+, and Line, respectively. The most popular activity for social media users were chatting and sharing of information, knowledge, and opinion. The second most popular activity was keeping up-to-date of recent news and trends, while the third most popular activity was uploading and sharing of photos or videos. Moreover, the survey found that roughly half of all respondents who used social media had experiences in purchasing goods or services through social media. The most popular goods for female users were fashion goods and cosmetics, while male users preferred IT gadgets. Total amount of money used for transactions varied according to different age groups, with respondents younger than 15 spending less than 500 baht on average, while respondents aged between 15 - 39 spent around 501-1,000 baht on average and those older than 40 spent between 1,001 - 5,000 baht.
  3. 3. 3 Introduction The Survey on Internet Users’ Profile in Thailand was conducted annually from 1999 to 2010 by the National Electronics and Computer Technology Center (NECTEC). However, after the Electronic Transactions Development Agency (Public Organization), known as ETDA was established with the main objective to enhance and support safe and secure electronic transactions for every sector in Thailand, the survey was transferred to the purview of ETDA. To this end, ETDA has, for the first time, conducted the 2013 Survey of Internet Users’ Profile in Thailand and is planning to conduct such survey annually. The survey collected information regarding basic information and Thai Internet users’ behavior, as well as introducing a special question for each year to the survey. For this year, the special question was about the purchasing behavior of goods and services via the highly popular social media. The results of the survey will be beneficial to the public sector in its planning and formulating of appropriate policies for each group of Internet users according to their gender, age, residence, education, occupation, etc. The private sector, especially e-entrepreneurs, could also utilize the results from the survey to plan their businesses and formulate marketing strategies that correspond to each target group. Objectives 1. To collect basic information about profiles and behavior of Thai Internet users on an annual basis, showing the changes in the Internet usage profiles and behavior of Thai Internet users. 2. To provide information regarding consumer behavior for e-entrepreneurs who are interested in investing in or conducting e-commerce so that they could formulate marketing plans for each target group. 3. To assist the public sector in formulating policies that will enhance Internet usage in appropriate directions. 4. To gather insight and information in socially popular issues related to electronic transactions. The results would then be applied to strategic planning and policy formulation of relevant organizations.
  4. 4. 4 5. To disseminate the findings of the survey to other agencies or persons, whether to study the usage of Internet for governmental services, Internet usage for educational purposes, e-commerce, or any relevant other areas. Methodology The 2013 Survey on Internet Users’ Profile in Thailand was conducted online, by posting banner links to the survey on private and public sectors organizations’ websites, as well as posting on social media websites such as Facebook to maximize exposure to target groups. The survey was conducted from mid-April to the end of May 2013, with a total number of respondents of 23,907. The data was then processed using computer-based statistical packages.