Research Round-Up: Kantar TNS & MarketBuzz Says 80% of Thais Are Careful Spenders


Kantar TNS & Marketbuzz recently released a study based on 1,000 respondents in Thailand, originally published on Techsauce.

The research shows that Thais are generally positive about the country’s economic outlook, despite economic slowdown in Q4 2016 and a more realistic approach to spending.

Thais are still recovering from recent events that have occurred this year, and this has affected the ‘splurging’ mentality among shoppers.

Research from Kantar TNS and Marketbuzz showed that:

  • 42% of Thais are concerned about cost of living
  • 40% of Thais are concerned about the future of the country’s economy

In regards to spending, the majority of those surveyed will only spend when necessary. 80% of respondents admit to being mindful of spending on non-necessities. 77% admit to only wanting to spend on things they really need.

Granted, the survey was conducted from a relatively small sample of 1,000 respondents.

This survey revealed that food & beverage and mobile phones were what Thai people spent the most on (82% & 75% respectively). This does not come as a surprise, considering the rise of mobile commerce in the country this year. In 2016, approximately 50% of ecommerce transactions are done via mobile phones.

Interestingly, Thais are less inclined to buy cars. 52% insisted that they either had no plans to spend on automobile, or will cut back on spending.

The main takeaway from this research, however, showed that millennials (18-24 in this study) were not planning to slow down on spending. Instead, young Thais are finding freelance jobs or or part time work to supplement their income. This finding corresponds with a research study conducted by TMRS earlier this year, which found that millennials wish to run their own businesses, control their own finances and dictate their own schedules.

According to Kantar Insights, Thai people recover quickly and adopt generally positive outlooks, which is beneficial to the consumer market and for brands. Despite economic slowdown, Thais have a positive outlook on 2017.

Here are some key market takeaways:

  • Exports in Q3 have decline by 5%
  • World Bank has predicted GDP to drop from 2.82 to 2.498
  • Rice exports only increased by 2.9%


Despite not being specifically related to Thailand’s ecommerce landscape, it proves to be an interesting backdrop for Thailand’s consumer spending. Currently, the country’s ecommerce landscape is estimated to be valued at $900 million and is expected to increase its ecommerce business 12-fold to a value of $11.1 billion by 2025.

Lazada’s recent 12.12 sale campaign reigned in $40.5 million in sales this year in Southeast Asia, with 60% of GMV coming from mobile. Insights revealed that consumers shopped for everyday things and groceries, which does correlate with Thai people’s consumption habits.

Thailand’s millennial demographic will contribute to driving spending, simultaneously online and offline, from what is concluded in this report.

Summary of the report originally appeared in Techsauce on 20 December 2016. Read the original article in Thai here.