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The Dominant Role of E-commerce in Thailand

The Dominant Role of E-commerce in Thailand

Most of Thailand’s population of 69.11
million are already online and have been utilising digital platforms for buying
items. Some 57 million Thais are regular internet users and 55.5
million are unique mobile users. About  12.1 million Thais currently shop online, and 1.8
million more expected by 2021, by which time some 24.5 percent of the total
population will be using e-commerce.

The average user spends more than 8000 THB per year on
e-commerce, which will grow to 12000 THB by 2021 according to Statista.

One of the key aspects of Thailand 4.0 is
to encourage a cashless society. One year after its launch, Thailand’s PromptPay e-payment scheme has already received 14
million registrations by the start of 2018. There is still a way to go though.
Credit card payments for example are popular with e-tailers, but penetration is
relatively low among shoppers.

This means e-tailers need to offer more
convenient alternatives. 81 percent of companies offer a bank transfer option
like ATM transfers, while 46 percent offer offline points of sale such as
over-the-counter service at convenience stores. Cash on delivery is another
popular option for customers, accounting for 80
percent of all e-commerce transactions

Thailand’s mix of international and local
eCommerce stores is indicative of Thai consumers wanting variety when it comes
to online shopping.  Global players such as Amazon, eBay, and Agoda
continue to remain popular while WeLoveShopping and Pantipmarket, local C2C
marketplaces and online communities, prove strong contenders that cater to
local tastes.

Growth of eCommerce can boost the use of
e-Payment because it can make purchases of goods faster and more
convenient.  Thailand’s online and mobile banking market could reach
maturity within six years.  This is largely driven by the national
e-payment system and the significant growth in mobile broadband
penetration.  By 2021, over 85% of the population will go online via
mobile phone, an increase of 31% currently.

With a heavy promotion of the national
e-payment scheme, both government and private sectors have been encouraging
stores and consumers to move away from cash and move towards e-Payment. 

According to the Thailand e-Payment Trade
Association, cash transactions are expected to fall from 90% to 50% within the
next couple of years. 

The ETDA yesterday signed a memorandum of
understanding with Srinakarinwirot University to establish an e-commerce park
to support e-transaction activities. The park will play an important role in
promoting the e-commerce ecosystem, supporting entrepreneurs, SMEs,
manufacturers and service providers in the local and international
markets. 

Thailand's e-commerce park will be a training centre for e-commerce knowledge
exchange and workshops for students, entrepreneurs and SMEs. 

In 2018, e-commerce will trend toward a big data approach related to
personalisation for shoppers, social commerce, blockchain and e-commerce
powered by artificial intelligence. 

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