Some 23 percent of the world's most digitally savvy people live in Asia-Pacific and 25 percent of them actively shared their opinions online.
According to a study released Thursday by GfK, 1 in 10 consumers in eight Asia-Pacific markets engaged regularly in such activities tapping global social sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn as well as local ones. The survey polled more than 37,500 consumers aged above 15 years in 25 countries including eight from the Asia-Pacific region: Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand.
Super connected consumers impact businesses in a range of ways, aided by the burgeoning technology industry which enables these consumers to connect faster, more frequently, and more powerfully than ever before.
- Jodie Roberts, GfK
Described to have "unusually high engagement" with social media networks, these consumers would visit a social network or online community via their mobile or on the computer, as well as check-in on geo-location apps or tweet and update their status, a GfK spokesperson told ZDNet Asia.
The research firm dubbed these consumers as "super connected", noting that 1 in 4 of them regularly shared their opinions on the Web. According to the spokesperson, there are 1.2 billion of them worldwide and approximately 280 million live in the Asia-Pacific region.
"Super connected consumers are not the mainly male, youthful 'techies' whom we might have stereotyped them in the past. Across the region, almost 1 in every 2 is a female, although there are certainly differences when we go by individual markets," Jodie Roberts, Asia-Pacific regional director for consumer trends at GfK, said in the study. In Australia, for example, 59 percent of super connected consumers were predominantly female, while in India this group was predominantly male at 70 percent.
The largest number of these online users resided in Taiwan and South Korea, accounting for 37 percent and 24 percent, respectively, of their country's overall Internet base. These markets have well-established Internet infrastructure and technology is deeply embedded in the lives of the population, noted GfK.
In the region, 45 percent of super connected consumers were aged 30 and above, 56 percent had a university or higher education, and 54 percent were from the medium-high or high income groups. Some 48 percent were women.
Some 28 percent would post reviews of products and services they had consumed, while 44 percent would read such reviews as part of their decision-making process.
These consumers were twice as likely to use instant messaging tools compared to the overall user base, the study revealed. It pointed to Taiwan where 4 in 5 sent and received photos frequently over their mobile phones, and over 50 percent would download and use mobile apps.
The findings indicated consumers were increasingly more technically adept, embracing technology fully to network, form and nurture relationships, and to consult and voice opinions on purchases and other issues such as politics.
Roberts added: "Super connected consumers impact businesses in a range of ways, aided by the burgeoning technology industry which enables these consumers to connect faster, more frequently, and more powerfully than ever before. Undoubtedly, they will be formidable spenders."
She said businesses looking to successfully tap this consumer group would need to identify ways to effectively engage them.
According to Internet World Stats, there were over 2.4 billion Internet users globally, as of Jun. 30, 2012. Some 44.8 percent of these resided in Asia, while 21.5 percent lived in Europe and 11.4 percent in North America.