As the second largest economy in southeast Asia and one of the countries with the largest number of Internet users, Thailand has become a developed e-commerce market.
With a population of nearly 70 million, the majority of thais have access to the Internet and can skillfully use smart phones to surf the Internet thanks to the sound technological infrastructure.
Although big players occupy the dominant position in the market at present, as users begin to get used to e-commerce, the Thai market is entering a mature stage, with huge space for future development.
Many brick-and-mortar brands and e-commerce companies in Thailand and abroad are competing for market share in the country’s vast digital consumer base.
Thailand’s e-commerce value rose to 3.2 trillion baht
According to the ministry of digital economy and society (DE), e-commerce in Thailand is growing fastest in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as consumer behavior changes, with an estimated value of 3.2 trillion baht.It is predicted that the scale of Thailand’s e-commerce will further increase to 43 billion us dollars in 2025.
Asean is short for association of southeast Asian nations, whose members include Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, brunei, Vietnam, Laos, myanmar and Cambodia.
The number of Internet users in Thailand has quadrupled in the past decade, and many thai-international e-commerce platforms are also growing, supporting the number of online shoppers. At the same time, people have more confidence in electronic payment, logistics and express delivery services are faster.
Service providers choose to use big data to analyze consumers’ behaviors and demands, while in the aspect of artificial intelligence, chatbots are used to improve the quality of products and services.
Trends show that with the arrival of 5G, Thailand’s e-commerce growth will continue to develop new innovations and improve consumers’ quality of life.
Surangkana Wayuparp, executive director and CEO of the electronic transaction development board (ETDA) of Thailand’s ministry of digital economy and society, said the survey results show that the value of e-commerce in Thailand has been growing at an annual rate of 8-10%, and ETDA has been collecting data on this since 2014.
The number of Internet users in Thailand has risen from 16m to 45m in a decade
Compared to the number of Internet users in the past 10 years, there were only 16.1 million Internet users in 2008. The latest information shows that Thailand had 45.2 million Internet users in 2017.
Thailand’s e-commerce is further developed because, according to statistics, Thailand has more than 45 million Internet users, 124.8 million mobile phone users, 44 million people using the message app LINE,5200 Thousands of people use Facebook.
This reflects changes in consumer behaviour as a result of changes in technology and communications equipment and the decline in the prices of these equipment and services, which has led to more people having more access to the Internet.
Diversification of e-commerce platform competition
One notable trend is the proliferation of mobile e-commerce in Thailand. Mobile phone users in Thailand account for 96% of the total population, and 70% of them own smart phones. Thailand accounts for 79% of mobile traffic, second only to Indonesia. Similar to other southeast Asian countries, Thailand had the highest mobile traffic on weekends, with 84 percent on Sundays.
In terms of social media, LINE is one of the most popular platforms in Thailand, and Thailand is the only country in southeast Asia where LINE is the main instant messaging app.
In Thailand, where 70% of e-commerce transactions still use cash on delivery, Peter Kopitz, manager of the Thai district of Southeast Asian e-commerce Zalora, believes the trend will continue until at least 2020 years.
This is due to Thais ‘ concerns about the safety of personal property and the disclosure of information. And a study of Visa mobile payments and non-cash payments suggests that 82% of Thais believe security is more important than convenience when it comes to mobile and non-cash payments.
In Thailand, different e-commerce enterprises compete for users along different development ideas.
For example, the largest market share of the Lazada although the adoption of the B2C+C2C model, but significantly more emphasis on C2C business, which is also more consistent with the development path of the parent company Alibaba.
Another major player, Shopee, is also C2C platform mode, but with a lot of advertising and social network delivery, But with a lot of advertising and social networking, localisation has gone further.
Chilindo, a local e-commerce company, has a more specific model — it lets users buy goods by auction and often posts ideas on Facebook, called video, to attract users’ attention. In addition, 11street from South Korea also has certain competitive advantages in terms of brand.
JD CENTRAL’s model looks more pure, unlike the C2C model for low control of commodity quality, the B2C model platform for goods and services more tightly controlled, the supply chain management capacity requirements are very high, but this is precisely the advantage of Jingdong. The self-established logistics system matched with B2C commodity sales mode ensures the consistency of service experience to the greatest extent.
In five years Thailand’s online retail market will account for as much as 10% of sales, and online B2C sales will exceed 300 billion baht, according to the national retail association.
More than 10 years ago, there were no e-commerce players in Thailand, and now there are Lazada, Shopee, LnwShop, JD Central and Tarad.
“The e-commerce space in Thailand will remain competitive for at least another five years,” said Pawoot Pongvitayapanu, founder of Tarad. “the number of major competitors will be reduced from 3-4 to 2.”
2019, jd.com, Shopee and Lazada will continue to compete fiercely, with more brands launching online.