Entrepreneur Natcharee Sriroj-chanapong has launched an online shopping magazine to cash in on the trend of increasing number of mobile-phone and Internet users in Thailand.
SymbolsOfStyle.com (SOS) is aimed at becoming one of the top Internet-based shopping sites in Thailand, combining online media and e-commerce.
“I have seen a growing trend of online shopping in Thailand, driven by the launch of the 3G network, which will accelerate the increasing number of mobile users in the market,” said Natcharee, 32.
According to its survey, the number of mobile-phone users jumped significantly by 50 per cent last year. The number of Internet users in Thailand is expected to increase significantly from 22 million last year to between 25 million and 27 million this year.
Natcharee graduated from the faculty of political science at Thammasat University in 2003, and worked for Born Distinction, an e-marketing firm, for about five years. She gained good experience in developing an e-marketing roadmap for the Tourism Authority of Thailand.
“I learned from various owners of online businesses how they developed their business successfully. It was on-the-job training that gave me valuable experience,” she said.
Natcharee launched her SOS online magazine in April, while the shopping feature at the website started in June.
“Currently, 100,000 people visit our online shopping magazine monthly and about 10 per cent of them shop for products from our website. We also expect the number of monthly visitors to increase three times to about 300,000 by the end of next year.
“We expect the sales generated from our SOS website to be double next year, from Bt50 million targeted for this year to about Bt100 million,” she said.
Natcharee said that the SOS shopping magazine currently offered online shoppers about 2,000 products of 200 different brands. The products are divided in five categories – fashion, tourism, dining restaurants, design and technology, and home decoration.
“We want to make our online shopping magazine a place used by business entrepreneurs in educating their customers, who will be able to shop for products immediately from the website. Our website will also tap 360 degrees of people’s lifestyle, including the ‘point-plus’ campaign usually launched by conventional retailers,” she said.
She added that the company would next year join with Thai Airways International, which would allow its online shoppers to earn miles from the airline.
To celebrate Christmas and New Year, SymbolsOfStyle.com is giving people a chance to win their favourite products, worth Bt3,000 each, in the SOS shop. They can go to the Bento Box section of the SOS website to create their dream outfits and “share” them on their Facebook wall.