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Is your web page ‘mobile first’? If not, you’re losing out.

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Is your web page ‘mobile first’? If not, you’re losing out. | The Thaiger

Mobile devices have become the main points of accessing information, news, bookings and retail across South East Asia. This is now the case for more than 90% of digital users in the region.

It’s not just a move to the internet from traditional media portals (TV, papers/magazines, radio), it’s a move away from desktops and laptops onto mobile platforms.

According to a Google-Temasek report, companies are now having to build for the mobile experience by adopting a ‘mobile-first’ design. It really doesn’t matter how your website looks on the desktop anymore. How does it look on a smartphone?

Up to now the process of web design has happened in reverse. Optimising for mobile was an option at the end of the design process. Now companies should be designing in the opposite direction – designing for mobile before scaling it up for desktop and laptop use.

Having a webpage with a mobile-first design can substantially increase one’s online visibility and reach, as consumers switch out their desktops for mobile devices. In Thailand, a staggering 90.4% of internet users go online via their smartphone, according to the report.

In 2015, Google launched an index which ranks websites by how their content renders on a mobile device. This means the lack of a mobile-friendly experience will weigh you down on a search list, and limit online visits.

To create a seamless mobile experience for your consumers – readers and buyers – keep a few things in mind.

Keep navigation straightforward and simple. Content should be streamlined. It should be intuitive for visitors looking to locate key information on your products, articles or services.

With 53% of mobile users abandoning web pages that take longer than three seconds to load you need to streamline your design so it’s fast and responsive. Instead of plastering your website with images or videos, consider replacing these motion graphics with engaging typography that will take less time to load.

Test your website’s speed at Google’s Test My Site, scanning factors such as text readability and sizing objects and reveal how you stack up against other industry competitors.

The mobile-first trend is clearly not showing signs of slowing down any time soon and companies should optimise their mobile webpages, or risk losing out.

The Thaiger’s daily traffic averages 83% mobile (March 2019), vs tablet and desktop, and grows each month.



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Business

Thai baht lowest since January

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Thai baht lowest since January | The Thaiger

The Thai baht has been Asia’s best-performing currency during Q1, 2019. But things appear to be losing momentum as the baht falls to its lowest since January.

The Thai baht weakened to as low as 32.035 per dollar, the lowest level since January 10th and falling through the psychological support of 32 baht in the US dollar.

Sentiment for the Thai currency has deteriorated as concerns linger over political stability after Thailand held its first general election on March 24 since the 2014 coup.

The Office of the Ombudsman issued a statement this week saying that it has accepted a petition seeking a review by a court on whether the election should be annulled.

Roong Sanguanruang, a market analyst at Bank of Ayudhya Pcl in Bangkok says, “As for domestic factors, we have hiccups in the political landscape and also have some of the impact from the dividend season” that contributed to the weaker baht.

Thai baht lowest since January | News by The Thaiger

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Business

Strong growth from key markets compensate for slight dip in Chinese tourists

The Thaiger

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Strong growth from key markets compensate for slight dip in Chinese tourists | The Thaiger

by Thanchanok Phobut | Senior Coordinator, Thailand

CBRE, international property consultants, believe that the Thai tourism market is still as resilient as ever.

Earlier this year, the Ministry of Tourism and Sports announced they are expecting more than 40 million tourists to visit Thailand this year, up from the record-breaking 38.3 million last year. According to the latest figures, the first two months of 2019 showed a 2.5% year-on-year growth in international tourist arrivals at 7.3 million, compared to 7.1 million the previous year.

In the first two months of 2019, the total number of Chinese tourist arrivals decreased slightly by 2.2% – 2.17 million in 2018 to 2.12 million this year. Chinese tourist arrivals in February, the month in which the Chinese New Year was celebrated this year, decreased by 12.3% year-on-year.

Other key feeder markets like Malaysia, India, Korea, and Japan showed double-digit growth in the first two months of 2019, with India having the highest growth at 20.1% year-on-year. Even though the combined number of tourists from these four feeder markets was smaller than that of the Chinese market alone, this positive trend could replace any loss of Chinese tourists. The challenge remains for Thailand to win back this biggest feeder market now that the most significant holiday for Chinese people has passed.

Bangkok still attracts tourists from around the world. The number of international tourist arrivals to Bangkok in the first two months of 2019 was 4.68 million, a 3% year-on-year growth. The development of a third runway in Suvarnabhumi International Airport, approved by the government on April 17, will strengthen Bangkok’s capacity to handle larger numbers of tourists in the future.

“In the first quarter of 2019, Rosewood Bangkok, a 159 key luxury hotel next to Phloen Chit BTS station, opened its doors to the public. This was one of Bangkok’s most highly-anticipated luxury hotel openings together with Capella Bangkok and Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok on the Chao Phraya River, both of which will open later this year, underpinning renewed interest in the riverside area and capitalising on recent developments outside of the hotel sector,” comments Mr. Atakawee Choosang, Head of Capital Markets – CBRE Hotels in Thailand.

CBRE believes that Bangkok will continue to be one of the top tourist destinations in the world with new luxury hotel openings, improving infrastructure, and attractions that appeal to a wide range of tourists.

Strong growth from key markets compensate for slight dip in Chinese tourists | News by The Thaiger

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Business

World Bank downgrades Thailand’s 2019 GDP growth to 3.8%

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World Bank downgrades Thailand’s 2019 GDP growth to 3.8% | The Thaiger

The World Bank is downgrading Thailand’s growth projections to 3.8% from 3.9% for 2019. This compares to last year’s 4.1% GDP. The Bank says that export growth has shrunk to 5.7% from last year’s 5.9%.

The World Bank’s senior economist for Thailand, Mr. Kiatpong Ariyapratya, says that the Word Bank also projects that Thailand’s growth rate for next year would remain at 3.8%. He was citing the East Asia and Pacific Update report,

“Thailand’s export growth projection for this year was adjusted down because of a global economic slowdown as a result of the simmering trade war between the US and China. Growth in tourist arrivals to Thailand this year is also projected to drop slightly.”

Thai PBS reports that, although Thailand’s growth projection is lower than the average 4%-5% rate for the rest of ASEAN, Mr. Kiatpong said that Thailand’s economic growth trend was improving compared to the situation 2-3 years ago, especially investment in the government and private sectors and the private sector’s consumption is picking up, constituting the main engines of economic expansion, expected to grow 4.6% and 4.3% respectively.

He warned that investments by the government sector for the year 2021, as well as government procurement projects and private sector investments, might be affected if formation of the new government is further delayed.

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