LINE Thailand is positioning its Line Man delivery service as a bridge to connect the 42 million users of its messaging service with offline businesses across the country.
Line Man was launched in June 2016 as a delivery service for food and convenience items before branching out into mail and parcel deliveries in April last year. The Line Taxi service was added in March as part of an overall offering that includes messenger services.
Ariya Banomyong, managing director of Line Thailand, said that Line Man, as an online-to-offline platform (O2O) platform, is a bridge between users of the Line messaging service and offline businesses, such as restaurants, social enterprise sellers, taxi drivers, convenience stores, and other small businesses.
“To be an O2O platform connecting users to SMEs supports the government’s Thailand 4.0 policy because we care for and understand Thai users,” said Ariya, referring to small and medium-sized enterprises.
Ariya said that now is the time to expand the offerings under Line Man and to achieve higher growth – as much as 500 per cent this year.
Ariya describes Line Man as a local innovation for Thai users, with the service attracting 1 million users a month. The number of orders it is handling has surged 489 per cent from 2017.
In all, Line Man comprises delivery services for food, convenience goods, mail and parcels, as well as the messenger service.
The messenger and postal services, including for packages, can be delivered within a day. There is also a nationwide door-to-door parcel delivery service.
Ariya said Line Man is designed to take advantage of the huge potential of e-commerce, specially social commerce, which is valued at around US$1.6 billion - or 51 per cent - of the US$3.1 billion e-commerce market. Marketplace services account for US$ 1.4 billion, or 49 per cent of the total.
“The role of Line Man is to support social sellers to grow their business, since Line Man offers door-to-door pick-up, cost savings, flexible pick-up times, and status alerts on Line,” Ariya said.
“The messenger service has covered 14 million kilometres, or 18 round trips to the moon, while the postal and parcel service has saved 300,000 hours worth of trips to the post offices.
“The food delivery service covers 40,000 restaurants, thanks to our service partner Wongnai.”
According to the KBank Analysis 2017 report, the food delivery market is worth Bt27 billion, representing 7 per cent of Thailand’s total restaurant market, which is valued at Bt397 billion. “It is an unmet consumer need, offering the largest restaurant choice for users and helping restaurants to grow their businesses,” Ariya said.
“We are out to grow the food delivery market. We bring traffic and business to restaurants without any investment.
“We have been the No 1 provider in the food delivery market since last year, which covers over 40,000 restaurants. This makes us 10 times bigger than our closest competitor.”
“Among the interesting data is that the most popular menu is Gyoza with 2 million pieces delivered since the launch. And the two most popular items ordered via Line Man’s convenience store delivery are ice and soda and sparking water.”
Regarding Line Taxi, Ariya said the service is designed to address consumers’ pain points, “even though there are six taxi applications in Thailand existing in the market, offering time efficiencies, experience and safety”.
“The service also helps taxi drivers make a better living, and helps to solve their pain points – including earnings that had amounted to less than the minimum wage. Also, it is costly to become a taxi driver and there is a negative public image with the job.”
Ariya said the most popular pick-up point is Siam Paragon.
“The goal for this year is to expand the e-payment service, Rabbit Line Pay, to all of Line Man’s users. Line Man’s revenue comes from transaction fees and advertising.” Ariya said.
“Strategic partners behind the success of Line Man are Lala Move, Wongnai, Alpha, Ninja, and Siam Taxi Co-operation.”