Asia Pacific Consumer Web Search Behavior

by YC Ng on February 11, 2011

The world starts realising that Asia Pacific is an important market for their products and services after the United States and European market showed delayed recovery. A study was done in June 2010 by iProspect, partnering with Aevolve, Aegis Media’s specialist global insight and analytics division, to understand APAC consumer web search behavior.

The study target at 11 countries, namely China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, Taiwan, Australia, and New Zealand, with a sample of 15,000 people between the ages of 18 to 64 years.

For marketers, there are several key findings that will make it truly interesting and significant, and will help in the strategies in marketing mix:

1.    79% of all APAC consumers use mobile search for the past year, and China leads the pack of mobile search consumers, followed by Thailand, India and South Korea. However, one should not be quick to generalise this as the market trend, since Australia and New Zealand majority have not used mobile search at all. The consumers used mobile search as a way to navigate the mobile web, and it is not surprising to find this answer since there are at least 15 brands of smart phones producer vying strongly against each other in the global market.

2.    Word of mouth and traditional media of TV and print advertising enhanced the search performance, and marketers should not fail to acknowledge the still existing influence of traditional media. Online advertising should not be seen as the means to enhance your SEO, but it should be part of an integrated strategy with offline and other communications. Failure to include search as part of a communications plan may cause consumers to switch brands through the search process.

3.    Majority of APAC consumers search the web via search engines several times a day, and is increasingly doing so. This behavior is consistent with another iProspect study on the US, and the growth is strong in key markets such as China (77%), India (92%), Malaysia (81%) and Singapore (78%).

4.    It is interesting to note that most APAC consumers cannot differentiate between a paid search result and an organic search result.  For those who are aware of the difference said that both types of search result are critical in increasing their awareness of a brand or product. Marketers who have a mix of both in their efforts are performing better in generating awareness compared to those who only concentrate on one and not the other.

5.    The average number of search result pages APC consumers read through before they click on the link or refine their search again is 2.85. It is interesting to note that younger consumers are likely to view more results per search.

6.    Most APAC consumers search the internet for Computer & Electronics (66%), Entertainment (60%), Food & Drink (53%), and Banking & Finance (50%). With such a search behavior, it is not surprising that Maps & Locations are quite heavily searhed in a number of markets including Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, Korea and Malaysia.  78% of APAC consumer search for news or press release information, followed by image search (65%) and video search (57%).

7.    When it comes to search engines market share in APAC, different countries showed different preferences and the results are as below:

search engine market share apac

Google is the clear winner in Malaysia (79%), Singapore (69%), Thailand (97%), India (89%), Australia (87%) and New Zealand (89%), whereas Yahoo dominates in Taiwan (65%) & Hong Kong (73%).

Both Google & Yahoo has almost equal market share in Japan (49%).

In China & Korea, it is dominated by local search engine – Baidu (68%) and Naver (70%) respectively.

It is worth to note that these survey data are quite close with the tracking reported by StatCounter except in Japan & Korea.

Source: IProspect APAC Consumer Search Behaviour & Attitudes Study

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