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Thailand conglomerate announces automated shop in 2019

According to a recent report, an e-commerce joint venture and the biggest retail conglomerate in Thailand, has announced that it plans to open an automated retail store in Bangkok in 2019, aiming to be the market leader of online retail in Thailand by 2020.

The move cements the conglomerate’s retail competitiveness and could trigger an e-commerce war in Thailand, as the firm offers merchants commission-free service.

E-commerce in Thailand will increase to 10% of the total retail market in three years, up from 3-5% today, thanks to competition and user experience, according to the company’s Chief Executive which is a joint venture between a Chinese internet giant and Thailand’s largest retail firm.

The joint venture will officially launch soon, one year after the website announced the collaboration.

The company’s Chief Executive stated that that after three months of operations, the conglomerate’s online orders have increased 15 times, with 80% of customers accessing it via a mobile platform.

Orders have been placed by customers from every province, and products were rated 100% authentic. The retail firm was ranked as third in brand awareness among customers by a marketing and brand media company.

The retail firm has had 2% of products returned and a 50% repurchase rate, with the fastest delivery service in the business at four hours and an average of four purchases with each order.

There are 4,000 brands in stock. The most popular product categories are mobile phones, food, home accessories and fashion.

The company has two warehouses in Bangkok and expects to increase to five warehouses by the end of the year.

It plans to deploy autonomous warehouse robots to replace manpower and substantially cut overhead costs. The robots will enable the company to maximise existing space by 500%.

The company stated that it is currently awaiting the approval to use robots and autonomous delivery vehicles in Thailand, according to the company’s leadership.

The firm offers next-day delivery service, but by embracing advanced technology it can offer same-day delivery throughout Bangkok and surrounding areas, covering 25 million prospective customers by 2019.

The firm’s chief executive also said that the company is considering a location to operate an unmanned physical retail shop in Bangkok that would be based on facial recognition software.

Having started with 16 employees, the retail firm now has 1,000 employees, 98% of whom are Thai. About 600 work in logistics and delivery.

The company claimed that it is positioned to be the most trusted online platform brand by focusing on customer experience with authentic products. The leadership added that if customers find any fake products on the website, they [the customer] will be refunded three times the original price.

The platform features both direct sales of products to consumers and an e-marketplace for online merchants with zero commission fee.

The company’s Chief Executive said that the company is also sourcing products from Thailand such as latex pillows, snacks, cosmetics and durian to sell on the retail firm’s online flagship store in Thailand on their website platform for Chinese shoppers.

To provide a little backstory, the retail firm began its global expansion in 2015, through a tie-up with a Russian online retailer. Later that year it launched in Indonesia, where it deviated from the minority partnership principle, according to an article.

After Indonesia, the group expanded into Thailand, the second most populous country in Southeast Asia, and now it plans to revolutionise the economy and tech scene in the country by setting up a fully automated shop.

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