BANGKOK: Ecommerce spending in Thailand remains far lower than the global average despite the country’s high mobile penetration.

This is according to a study from Hootsuite and We Are Social, which found that the average ecommerce spend in Thailand on consumer goods is US$248 compared with a global median of US$833, the Bangkok post reported.

Thailand is a regional leader in mobile commerce, as 52% of online transactions take place via a mobile device. Only South Korea leads with 58%.

However, a study from Malaysia-based price comparison website IPrice, which collected data from 1000 merchants from across Southeast Asia found that basket conversion rates on desktop were 1.3 times higher than on mobile.

Trailing only Indonesia in terms of mobile traffic, Thailand claims the second spot in the APAC region. In the third quarter of 2016, mobile accounted for 67% of total traffic in the country. Fast-forward into the second quarter of 2017 and mobile’s share of traffic had grown to 79%.

The iPrice study also found that Thai conversion rates were the lowest in the Southeast Asia region, joining the Philippines at the bottom of the pile with just 20%.

An earlier report from November 2017 found that Lazada was the most popular ecommerce site among Thai shoppers, gaining 52.6% of the market, followed by 11street with 12.2% and Shopee with 4.4%.

The study also found that many Thai people are comfortable seeking information online but choose to spend their money in brick and mortar stores. According to Google consumer barometer figures, 65% of respondents confirmed this.

According to Statista, total Thai ecommerce revenue is expected to hit US$3.5 billion in 2018 from an annual growth rate of 13.2%. Penetration will reach just under a fifth of consumers (18%) this year.

Sourced from Bangkok Post, Tech in Asia, Google Consumer Barometer, Statista; additional content by WARC staff