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Korean e-commerce platform 11street details growth strategy

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AFTER LAUNCH IN THAILAND, FIRM LOOKS TO SE ASIA REGION

On the occasion of the official launch of Korean e-commerce platform 11street in Thailand last week, Hong Cheol Jeon, chief executive officer of 11street Thailand, told The Nation about e-commerce opportunities here and in the Southeast Asia region in general, and how the company intends to capture this market. 

HOW DO YOU SEE THE POTENTIAL OF E-COMMERCE IN THAILAND AND IN THE SOUTHEAST ASIA REGION?
Thailand's e-commerce market is expected to expand to Bt86 billion this year and to continue to grow, eventually reaching Bt213 billion in 2022, accounting for approximately 5 per cent of retail business in Thailand. The market value for e-commerce in 2016 [was] Bt67 billion, representing huge opportunities for many SMEs, which comprise over 98 per cent of businesses in Thailand.
At 11street, we are growing constantly and our traffic performance has risen sharply to rank second-highest in the traffic category, with over 14 million visits within 42 days. Thailand's retail industry has been growing so fast, despite [the fact that] the country's GDP growth rate is not that high. We believe the growth in retail industry will transform to e-commerce industry very rapidly. 
[Southeast Asia] is a big market, and Thailand has always been in our plan for expansion. Thailand is one of the fastest-growing markets, with many opportunities for e-commerce business to tap [into], with its high mobile penetration rate in comparison to other countries in the region. 
[Thailand] is a fast-growing market where the Internet penetration rate and mobile usage have risen substantially. This leads to the growth of the e-commerce market. The penetration rate [of] e-commerce in Thailand is still only around 1 per cent of the retail industry, while at more mature markets like Korea it is around 14 per cent. This represents a great business opportunity. 
To respond to those trends, 11street offers unique shopping experiences with a wide range of products of over 3 million SKUs [stock-keeping units], a trustworthy characteristic that allows shoppers to shop worry-free, with great mobility and convenience to meet the requirements and lifestyles of the shoppers as much as possible.

WHAT IS THE COMPANY'S BUSINESS GOAL AND BUSINESS STRATEGY TO CAPTURE THAILAND'S E-COMMERCE MARKET? 
11street strives to become the No 1 e-commerce platform in Thailand with strong commitment to be "your everyday marketplace" offering distinctive online shopping experiences for all. Our plan is to rise to No 1 in the market within four years, but I have a good feeling that we can achieve the goal earlier than that. 
We have secured good partnerships with local and international businesses fast, and to date we already have over 9,000 sellers, and we plan to [have] 20,000 sellers by [the end of] this year.
Ouroffers through ... extensive product line-up, attractive offers and discounts, flexible payment options, [and] reliable delivery will be driving forward our business, which aligns [with] other markets that we operate or plan to operate in.
We will also offer promotional campaigns to attract shoppers and build on our successful campaigns, [for example] the "Love at First Sight" campaign. 
This year alone we plan to invest over a billion baht on our marketing campaigns to attract buyers with even better products, promotions and prices.
11street's GMV [gross merchandise volume] at the end of January 2017 was Bt200 million. Currently, we have over 150,000 members registered on our platform and 9,000 active sellers. 11street offers more than 3 million product listings on our platform under eight categories: fashion, electronics, groceries, health and beauty, kids and babies, leisure and sports, home and living, [and] e-vouchers and books.

WHAT ARE THE KEY COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGES OF 11STREET THAILAND WHEN COMPARED WITH OTHERS?
11street offers borderless trading with [large] product selections featuring over 3 million product listings. 
We offer unique promotions for our shoppers to enjoy in a revolutionary way. The 11street "cart coupons" can be used to discount the price of all items in one cart. We are also the first to offer a zero-per-cent instalment programme for all products in your shopping cart, not [just] specific items. 
With our expertise and proven track record of being the No 1 e-commerce service provider in South Korea, we are confident that 11street will become the top-of-mind online marketplace for Thais.

Published : February 22, 2017

By : ASINA PORNWASIN  THE NATION