Singapore consumers among most connected in the world: Study

Office workers chatting on their phones during lunch hour in the Central Business District at Raffles Place, on Feb 23, 2016.
Office workers chatting on their phones during lunch hour in the Central Business District at Raffles Place, on Feb 23, 2016.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE - Consumers in Singapore are among the most "connected" in the world in 2016, ranking only behind Hong Kong, in an index that ranked 78 countries from eight world regions, a new study said.

The annual GfK Connected Consumer Index ranked the city-state second in the Asia Pacific list, followed by Australia, Taiwan, Japan and South Korea, a release issued on Tuesday (May 10) said.

The index shows how connected consumers are across 11 different types of devices including the smartphone, tablet, mobile personal computer, desktop personal computer, wearables, smart TV, TV set-top box, videogame console, e-reader, connected car and a smart home.

The data by market research firm GfK enables a quick comparison of how "connected" the different regions and countries are per capita, giving trends over the last five years and a forecast for the current year, the release added.

The index also allows to compare how connected the individual countries and regions are, in order to spot market opportunities across a range of industries. This includes areas stretching from digital device sales and content consumption to expansion of traditional technology into health and media and beyond.

In "developed markets such as Hong Kong and Singapore, wearables are now the 'in-thing', together with connected cars and both these are providing new consumer benefits", said Mr Stanley Kee, managing director for South-east Asia at GfK. "Smart home technology is an equally significant opportunity, but expected to be slower and steadier in terms of the consumer adoption curve."

Hong Kong retained its top ranking in the overall global list ahead of North America, United Arab Emirates, Norway and Germany. Singapore ranked 13 in that list ahead of Australia (17), New Zealand( 26), Taiwan(28), Japan (30) and South Korea (38). Malaysia, China and Thailand rounded up the top 10 in the Asia Pacific region.

"As technology continues to evolve and mature at their own pace in individual markets, we are increasingly seeing that local country drivers are having a relatively bigger impact on growth, as opposed to global or regional trends - with consumers connecting in ever bigger numbers and different ways," Mr Kee said.

rupsk@sph.com.sg