Thai e-commerce sector expected to expand by 20 per cent this year

Economy January 27, 2017 01:00

By  JIRAPAN BOONNOON
THE NATION

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THE E-COMMERCE market in Thailand this year is expected to growth up to 20 per cent. 



The bullish forecast came as it was revealed the Southeast Asia e-commerce market in 2015 was worth US$900 million (Bt31.7 billion) and is forecast to grow up to 16 times that figure – about $11 billion – by 2025.

Worawoot Ounjai, chief executive of Central Online, said that the e-commerce market in Thailand would grow more than 15 per cent this year because more consumers would shop online. 

He said only about 3 per cent of Thai consumers currently shopped online, so there was obviously massive growth potential for the market. While the e-commerce ecosystem, such as online payment transaction fees, Internet broadband and logistic, were changing dynamically, he said.

He added that the use of e-wallets via mobiles and the convenience of online payments would drive more consumers to shop online.

Only 1 per cent of Central Group’s retail revenue last year came from online.

Worawoot said an e-commerce marketplace platform would with the next couple of months be provided for all shops in the Central Group and all shops that rent space at Central department store.

Central will also invest over Bt1 billion in warehouses to support its online business and use of robot management, he said.

“I think that online shopping will be a big change in behaviour for customers since the coming of the e-wallet via mobile phones, which will create convenience to customers,” he said.

Thanawat Malabuppha is CEO of Priceza, a provider of shopping searches and price comparisons in six countries – Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippine, Singapore, Vietnam and Thailand.

Thanawat said the e-commerce market in Southeast Asia was one of the fastest-growing and most promising, with it forecast to grow $11 billion in 2025.

He said Thailand expected to post e-commerce growth of about 20 per cent this year – the driving factors increased Internet and mobile phone use, as well as improved logistics and e-payment systems. This would create heightened convenience and consumer confidence to shop online.

He said the quality and reliability of online shopping services were another driving force impacting on the acceptance of e-commerce in the region.

Thanawat added that Priceza provided a price comparison platform to enable shoppers to search for products from multiple categories offered by the many online shops, which promoted fair competition and empowered buyers with informed buying decisions from shop ratings and buyer reviews while giving them better shipping options.

Priceza envisions being part of the efforts to make the retail ecosystem in the region as transparent as possible and deliver excellent market competition that benefits both buyers and sellers. 

Nuttawit Polwattanasuk, managing director of LnwShop, said the firm provided an e-commerce platform to support more than 460,000 online shops and had online transaction of over Bt1.8 billion last year. The online payment system will have an important role in driving e-commerce in Thailand in the next few years, Nuttawit said.

The Electronic Transactions Development Agency has forecast that the total e-commerce market in Thailand this year will be worth Bt2.52 trillion.

That comprises business-to-business transactions totalling Bt1.38 trillion (54.74 per cent), business-to-consumer transactions worth Bt729 billion (28.89 per cent) and business-to-government transactions valued at Bt413 billion (16.37 per cent). 

This would represent growth of 12.4 per cent from last year’s market value of around Bt2.24 trillion.

The country has around 41 million Internet users, 41 million Facebook users, 33 million Line users, 7.8 million Instagram users and 5.3 million Twitter users, the agency reported.