Forty-five percent of Vietnamese smartphone owners used their device during their last purchase, the highest rate in the region, according to a recent study carried out by Internet giant Google.

Meanwhile, 70 percent of the Internet users in Vietnam researched about their last purchase both online and offline, one of the highest rates in the region. Users also frequently research online and then buy offline, particularly in the case of car insurance and television sets, the study said.

These are just some of the insights into shopping behaviour that can be gleaned from Google's consumer barometer 2014, a free online tool based on a TNS survey of more than 150,000 people across 46 countries.

About 63 percent of the Vietnamese Internet users bought their last leisure flight tickets online, according to the study, which updates the survey on a regular basis, adding new product categories, markets and questions.

The research, which is also designed to quantify and understand Internet usage and attitudes involving various devices, found that the computer is the connected device most commonly used by people in Vietnam.

It said that most Internet users in Vietnam go online every day. This is true of all age groups, with 51 percent of the Internet users who are 55 years old and above going online every day.

Meanwhile, smartphone Internet users in Vietnam use their mobiles for a range of everyday activities, in which taking photos is the most popular activity with 71 percent, followed by listening to music with 70 percent and use of the clock and alarm with 66 percent and 65 percent respectively.

Most Vietnamese Internet users watch online videos to relax or escape from routine life. Forty percent watched their last online video with someone else, usually their partners.

While online videos are often viewed at work or in school, 69 percent of the Vietnamese Internet users were fully focused on the last online video they had watched. This is the highest rate in the region.

The Google research, which has been expanded to include more countries and findings, is designed to provide marketers with digital consumer insights to support planning.

Besides examining shopping behaviour involving 10 product categories, the research explores digital viewing habits such as multi-screening and viewing of online videos.

The tech giant's research team says that they run consumer surveys to "add context" to the information that can be elicited from its search engine query trends.

According to Google Asia Pacific's chief marketing officer Simon Kahn, consumers in Asia are living in a mobile-first world that needs new products and services built with the mobile in mind, not as an afterthought or nice-to-have.

"There's a great chance here for Asian businesses to lead the world in mobile-first innovations by reacting fast to the revolution that's happening on the streets right outside their office doors. All they need to do is heed the consumers' call," wrote Kahn on the Google Asia Pacific Blog.-VNA