Online design marketplace launches in Thailand

Corporate August 03, 2017 18:00

By The Nation

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Pinkoi, a cross-border curated online marketplace for buying and selling original design products, on Thursday announced its official launch in Thailand.

The innovative digital community empowers designers, promotes great design, and promises consumers unique products, thereby adding individuality to the e-commerce landscape, says the company in a media release.

The Taiwan-based company founded in 2011 is known for individually selecting products to create a curated shopping experience. Items range from original handmade or small-scale produced designs including clothes, shoes, bags and accessories, to handcrafted stationery. The focus is on showcasing genuine products that are good-quality and design-led.

The latest launch is positive news for Thai designers, according to Pinkoi CEO, Peter Yen.

“In Thailand, 500 designers have already signed up and been accepted with Pinkoi to date, with numbers expected to grow. While we sell internationally, our design focus is on Asia because there is no platform for designers in the region quite like Pinkoi.”

Yen says, “There is an incredible art and design scene in Thailand.”

They join platform with 11,000 products, and growth of 105 per cent between 2015 and 2016.

“Our mission is to inspire people to live life tastefully. We create a lifestyle through good designs that resonate with many of today’s independently minded consumers.”

A rigorous selection process by a dedicated team at Pinkoi, results in talented designers able to sell their wares, creating real opportunities for small and start-up designers, Yen says. By curating products, Pinkoi is able to shape its identity and appeal to specific demographics, reaching out to Asia’s e-commerce consumers who make purchases online quickly with limited browsing time.

The Pinkoi platform creates a space where independent designers are more visible than they are on catch-all shopping platforms where brand-name brands dominate or where there may be product-quality issues.

Part of that communication includes the Pinkoi Chatbox, where consumers can chat directly with designers to find out more about products or request customized items, which are growing in popularity in the region. Through the Pinkoi Window, designers can compose their own personal webpage design, while the Pinkoi Zine features the latest news and updates on designers. The Pinkoi Wall boosts engagement with gift ideas and design inspirations.

Opal Mahavana and Koranis Nettayanuwat, co-owners of Whiteoakfactory, a Thai company that creates simple and stylish faux leather bags, joined Pinkoi two years ago and has sold 4,000 items through the platform so far. “We’ve been able to reach an international market, that values individuality and smaller brands, giving us a presence outside of our localized community here in Thailand. Pinkoi discovers “creatives” and gives them the freedom to flourish.”

Need a New Needle founder Ploysiri Rangkadilok, a Thai-based designer who creates custom-made hand-embroidered labels, echoes this sentiment. “In one year, I’ve had more than 600 sales transactions and was able to reach out within Thailand and overseas with unique, customized designs that are all handmade. Pinkoi has the heart and soul of a designer while being tech-savvy and commercially invested, taking e-commerce to a more personalized and personal level.”

Whilst Pinkoi is focused on the global markets of China, Hong Kong, Japan, the US, and now Thailand, the platform has a presence in 88 countries. Aimed at the 25-44 demographic, with a skew toward females, there are 1.6 million members and 3.7 million items have been retailed since first launching.

Today, there are some 860,000 products on offer from 8,000 active shops on the website and Pinkoi app platforms, retailing in five languages and 12 currencies. Designers are reaping 90 per cent of sales revenues, too.

The user-friendly website and 4.8 star-rated Pinkoi Android and iOS apps, along with a strong social media following, communicate in English, traditional and simplified Chinese, Japanese and Thai. On Google Play, more than 17,000 reviewers out of 20,000 plus have awarded Pinkoi a 5-star rating.

In 2015, Pinkoi received USD 9 million (Bt299.6 million) in funding from Sequoia India and GMO VenturePartners.

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