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Filipinos, Malaysians spend most time online in SEA: Report

Smartphones are the go-to device for accessing the Internet throughout South East Asia, and consumers expect fast performance of websites across all devices, according to a new research report by by Limelight Networks.

Time spent online varies by country and generation. People in the Philippines spend the most time online closely followed by those in Malaysia. People in Singapore are online the least. In Thailand, millennials are online the least, with 34 per cent online 16 hours or more a week compared to 42 per cent for all other age groups. The gap is even greater in the Philippines, where 39 per cent of millennials versus 56 per cent of all other age groups are online this amount of time.

“Our new research shows that nearly half of adult consumers in South East Asia are online 16 hours or more each week, outside of work, and they have high expectations for website performance, especially when it comes to e-commerce. Nearly everyone surveyed said that they’re likely to recommend a brand to a friend if they have a positive web experience, and on the flip side, that they’ll leave and go to a competitor if it isn’t a good experience,” said Jaheer Abbas, Regional Sales Director at Limelight.

While there is a great deal of behavioral consistency throughout the region, some interesting regional differences were identified. Personalised web experiences were ranked as very important in all countries, but were slightly less so in Singapore. Also, while the majority of respondents regionally will abandon a website if the experience is slow, there is slightly more tolerance in the Philippines.

Despite these differences, the report outlines the need for organisations to prioritise the optimisation of mobile experiences, understand the expectations of consumers within each country rather than implementing a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach, and accelerate website performance to keep visitors engaged.

According to the report, performance impacts e-commerce sales. Nearly half (43 per cent) of consumers surveyed will leave a website and go to a competitor if a webpage takes too long to load. The report outlines that websites should load quickly on all connected devices. 84 per cent of respondents report they expect equally fast load times on any device.

Content is the key driver for site visits as the report shows that social media is the top online activity closely followed by online video, and fresh and updated content ranks as the top expectation for web experiences.

Consumers want personalised website experiences, the report found. Most consumers (67 per cent) surveyed want a website to remember them and make recommendations based on previous visits.