HONG KONG: Chinese consumers score highly on use of the web for transactions and for communication and self-expression, while Indian consumers are more likely to focus on entertainment and gathering information, a new international report has suggested.
Mindshare, the media services company, drew on research from its own Mindreader online surveys around the world as well as data from sources including the World Bank, comScore and the International Telecommunications Union to create its Digital Normal Index.
As well as assessing the online behaviour and motivations of consumers, which were grouped into the four broad areas of communication and self-expression, entertainment, information and transaction, the Index also took account of the online infrastructure of each country, with scoring adjusted on the basis of internet availability and speed of connections.
Overall, 14 of 33 countries surveyed were above 'normal' in their online use across all four motivation areas, with six of these in the Asian region, including China, India, the Philippines, Singapore, Korea and Thailand.
Transaction was especially important to Chinese consumers, who came first on this measure, followed by Thais in second place. Koreans and Singaporeans also ranked highly on this motivation.
By contrast, Filipinos and Indians scored low on the transaction metric, but much higher on entertainment and information gathering. Singaporeans were also revealed to be keen on seeking out entertainment online, leading the world in this regard.
Perhaps the biggest surprise in the study was that Japan, a technology leader, was placed last among the Asian nations and close to the bottom for three of the motivations considered.
It was ranked 31st for entertainment, 29th for transactional behaviour and 26th for self-expression. Only in respect of information gathering was it placed in the top third (11th) of the 33 countries measured.
Norm Johnston, global digital leader at Mindshare, said, in comments reported by Campaign Asia-Pacific, that the findings challenged some preconceptions. He pointed out that "the USA is the world's richest nation, but with people who are less motivated to go online for transaction (26th) than almost every other nation on the planet".
Data sourced from Campaign Asia-Pacific, Mindshare; additional content by Warc staff