Year in Search: 5 Thai consumer trends revealed through searches on Google and YouTube

Piya Mekanand, Piyaparn Chitranondh, Irene Boonwikrom / มีนาคม 2563

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Today, Thai consumers use the internet to meet various needs in their daily lives whether it is communication, entertainment, learning new skills, discovering new information or increasingly buying new products and services.

As millions of Thais turn to Google and YouTube to discover, find, watch and share their real needs, businesses have the opportunity to not only understand, but also anticipate what matters to them.

The Year in Search Thailand report is a deep dive into what Thai users are looking for, along with how, when and insights into why they’re looking for it. Here are the 5 trends.

1) Beyond the Metros

When it comes to spending on the internet economy, people living in the metro cities such as Bangkok continue to dominate Thailand’s online landscape. With better access to technology, consumers in the non-metro areas are fast catching up and are expected to play a bigger role in the growth of the country’s internet economy.

The narrowing gap between metros and non-metro cities is also reflected in search volume. Over 75% of searches on auto, food and beverages, and personal care products come from the non-metro areas.

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2) On-demand Economy

The race to deliver better, faster, cheaper products and services by brands, is fuelling an on-demand mindset among Thai consumers and raising their expectations. Searches for ride-hailing and delivery services grew significantly from 2018.

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On-demand mindset is also reflected in the way Thai consumers search for products on Google Search. It has become more personalized as they look to address a need that is important to them personally. Thai consumers are using more specific search queries, for example, “Running shoes for men” or “Condo Talat Phlu” in order to find results that directly respond to their needs. Marketers need to understand these search behavior patterns and create content that engages with consumers in a meaningful way.

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3) The Omnichannel Experience

Thai consumers are looking for a seamless purchasing experience across online and offline, resulting in increasingly complex purchase journeys.

We witness consumer behavior trends such as in-store webrooming and product review searches on YouTube. Some consumers also add more context to their search queries to discover even more specific results such as “Pork BBQ near me” “Hairdresser near me” or “Tourist attraction near me”. These are search queries which will lead to offline purchases.

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4) Going Cashless

With a rise in smartphone penetration, greater reliability of digital transactions, consumer trust, and government support, Thailand is rapidly moving towards becoming a cashless society.

Growth in searches for “Credit card” and “Digital wallets” indicate that Thai consumers are increasingly participating in cashless transactions. In addition to product keywords, we also witness searches for mobile banking application related terms such as “How to sign up”, “Change mobile number” and “Can't sign in”.

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5) Conscious Consumption

Thai consumers were hard hit with extreme shifts in weather. Many of them are turning their attention to the implications of climate change, environmental preservation, and sustainability. Thai consumers search for environmental issues, and tools that help them solve problems such as “PM 2.5” and “Mask N95”.

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While some look for solutions to problems, others take a step in preserving the environment. Searches for “Electric car” “Save electric city” “Fabric bag” and “Reduce plastic bag” receive 2x more attention in the past year.

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Anticipate what matters

Year in Search Thailand report has given us insights into what matters to Thai consumers as they try to make a decision about where to go, what to do or what to buy. What was important to them in 2019 will continue to influence their actions in 2020 and beyond. By understanding what truly matters to consumers, businesses shape their journey and create experiences in a meaningful way.

Deep dive into Thai consumer search trends and unlock more business opportunities:

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