2016 predicted Thailand’s e-commerce boom and it has been forecasted that in 2017, internet users in Thailand will make up 50 percent of the population compared to last year’s 43 percent.
Once plagued by a shaky foundation of uncertain payment settlement systems and a faltering mobile infrastructure, it seems Thailand has overcome that hurdle and in 2016 became Southeast Asia’s fastest growing e-commerce market.
With a retail market that is expected to reach 3.21 billion by 2020 - according to Euromonitor International, Thailand is without a doubt carving its niche within the world of e-commerce.
Fueled further by the launch of 4G services, it seems a path has been paved for numerous online retailers to up their game and offer greater formats of product distribution to an internet-savvy pool of consumers.
Here are five types of e-commerce business models that are currently taking Thailand by storm.
Meal Delivery Sites
With the clean eating craze going strong - particularly in cities - healthy food delivery websites are becoming an increasingly popular business model. Offering healthy alternatives that run from organic to vegan to low-calorie and non-processed foods, the success of these websites can be attributed to the fact that they offer to take away the hassle thought to encompass healthy eating, aka grocery shopping etc. By eliminating these factors, the popularity of meal delivery sites can only grow exponentially.
Online Deal Platforms
Capitalising on the Thais’ love for a great deals, the humble coupon is back and stronger than ever. With online deal platforms such as Saleduck offering coupons and deals from powerhouse retail websites like Lazada and Expedia, consumers are able to find money-saving deals on everything from electronics to groceries to first-class airline tickets going for up to 80% off. To set themselves apart from competition, deal and couponing platforms often work closely with their partners to release exclusive codes to provide even greater savings to their customer base and the fact that most of these codes can be accessed without a fee is the icing on the cake.
Social Media Shopping
In 2016, PWC’s Total Retail survey noted that 51 percent of online shoppers in Thailand shopped directly through social media platforms such as Facebook and LINE citing interactivity as a strong motivator. Whilst price and convenience play a significant role, the driving force behind social media shopping can be linked to the stream of human connectivity that takes its form in reviews, comments and feedback that comes via social media. 53 percent of social media consumers said that customer reviews are what influences their buying decision.
C2C Mobile Shopping
Following in the same vein as social media shopping, C2C is also cited as one of the next big things to emerge in Thailand’s e-commerce ecosystem. The person to person interaction is an element that serves as the heartbeat of successful C2C platforms such as Pantipmarket and Tarad.com. Over 50% of online transactions being performed via mobile phone in Thailand, this is expected to further push consumer-to-consumer shopping further into the limelight.
Digital Content Websites
From mobile gaming to SVOD, Thailand’s digital revolution has certainly altered the ways in which people consume content. With over 10 different paid platforms for Thais to choose from including iflix and Doonee, Thailand’s affinity for mobile internet use plays a role in how we choose to consume content via digital platforms. In the world of gaming alone, major telecom operators in Thailand have announced strategies in acquiring digital content and games in an effort to meet the rise in demand.