Nearly 2/3 of Pinoys use social media for purchase decisions-A A +A
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
NEARLY two-thirds of Filipino internet users have harnessed social media whenever making purchases, preliminary results of a Southeast Asian digital consumer report said.
Sixty-four percent of Filipinos relied on social networking sites such as Facebook.com whenever making purchase decisions, the inaugural Southeast Asia Digital Consumer Report indicate.
The same survey also said that six out of 10 Filipino Internet users relied on online consumer opinions posted online, higher than any other Southeast Asian market.
Filipinos relied more on online product reviews and discussion forums as one the most trusted sources of recommendations whenever making purchases (45 percent), second only to inputs from family and friends (70 percent),
Although 33 percent of 94 million Filipinos are online, this is five percentage points lower than the Southeast Asian average of 38 percent, said the same report produced by global media research firm Nielsen.
The same survey also said that communicating through social media has now overtaken email to become the most popular form of online communication.
Over two-thirds of Filipino digital consumers (67 percent) have visited social networking sites, compared to 40 percent who use email.
Nielsen also took note that social media enhanced Filipino consumers' interaction with companies and brands.
The Philippines ranked second highest for the number of people who have ever "liked" or followed a brand, company or celebrity on a social networking site (75 percent).
Digital audience measurement company comScore ranked the Philippines last March as the top market for Facebook.com with nearly 93 percent of its online population visiting the website in February this year.
Media statistics website socialbakers.com counted 25.48 million Facebook users from the Philippines in June, the seventh largest in the world.
Meantime, Nielsen said that social media offers both opportunities and challenges for advertisers and marketers since it has facilitated more ways for word of mouth communication to take place.
With the end goal of staying relevant to consumers, the research firm said companies should ensure that their social media presence, activities, and initiatives are based on the consumers' situation, mood, or context.
"Otherwise, they will either just be ignored or worse 'disliked.' Social media shifts the power of choice to the consumer. Similar to TV with the use of a remote control, the mouse is a digital consumer's tool," Jay Bautista, managing director of Nielsen's media business in the Philippines, told Sun.Star in an email interview.
Already close to one quarter of Filipinos Internet users (24 percent) access the cyberspace on a daily basis through a mobile phone and 56 percent intend to access the Internet through this device in the next 12 months.
Besides the Philippines, online consumer behavior in four of Southeast Asia's biggest economies was also tracked in the survey to be released on September 30. These are Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia.
In the Philippines, Internet penetration among consumers aged 15 to 19 was close to two-thirds (65 percent) and nearly half of those in their 20's were online (48 percent).
However, Nielsen noted there is still much room for growth for those aged 30 and above.
The survey showed that less than one quarter of consumers aged in their 30s (24 percent) access the Internet, 13 percent of consumers in their 40s, and just four percent of consumers aged 50 and above.
For the majority of Southeast Asian markets, home was the most common location to access the Internet. But for Filipinos, it had mixed options since it varied significantly by age.
Nielsen attributed this to changing levels of home PC ownership and access to broadband services (52 percent of Filipinos have a computer with high speed Internet connection at home).
Home is the most common Internet access point for those aged 30 years and above close to nine in 10 Internet users aged 50 years and above (86 percent) cite 'home' as their main point of access.
In contrast, 74 percent of 15-19 years said they access the cyberspace through Internet cafés.
Nielsen media officer Zenaida Santos told Sun.Star that two sources were used for the study.
One is the Global Online Consumer Survey which covers more than 25,000 online consumers globally, of which 504 are from the Philippines. This was conducted online.
The other is the Media Index Philippines (6,777 respondents aged 15 and above). It covers 22 key cities and was conducted offline (face-to-face) from April 2010 to March 2011.
From this number, 2894 are internet users in the last 30 days. The combination of these sources generated the results of the latest consumer report. (Sunnex)