Ecommerce in Thailand – A complete guide for sellers
As big brands are increasingly moving into the Southeast Asian markets, Thailand is fast becoming one of the primary countries of interest. And one of the key markets set to develop more is E-commerce.
According to a survey conducted by Global Web Index, Thailand boasts of over 50 million internet users, most of them between the ages of 16 to 64 years.
While the customer base is quite large, the online spending amounts to little – which is why it is the perfect time to get ahead of any big players and set up your show in the booming E-commerce space of Thailand.
Before you do so, here are some aspects you need to consider:
Where to Sell?
The E-commerce space is less to do with mere online delivery and more to do with online marketplaces. Every country has a few marketplaces that work better than others. Thailand is no exception. The ones that are popular among the Thai are:
Among all the online marketplaces, Lazada has been the most popular one. Available for all major product categories, including electronics, appliances, health and beauty, groceries, pets, toys, and automobiles, Lazada enjoys the highest number of visits on its website and app.
Its local-language and user-friendly interface make it the top E-commerce platform in Thailand.
Kaidee is also a highly ranked local online marketplace in Thailand. Along with its popularity, another benefit of setting up a store with Kaidee is that it offers you a myriad of selling tips and tricks and easy registration through Facebook.
The platform of Shopee consistently appears on the top-ranked E-commerce platforms of the Southeast Asian countries, and it is no different for Thailand.
Besides lifestyle, electronics, apparel, and other run-of-the-mill categories, Shopee has a dedicated platform for delivering groceries by collaborating with the local supermarket brand Tesco Lotus.
Central Department Store is already an established chain in the Thai marketplace. Being one of Thailand’s largest retailers, its online shopping store is a competitive marketplace for established brands to set up their space in.
With state-of-the-art services like personal shopping, this platform helps premium brands penetrate the Thai market.
What to Sell?
As the Thai E-commerce space is still an up-and-coming one, it is essential that your product categories are aligned to the market needs.
While you can create a niche in your own product category, it is worthwhile to take a look at the consumer behavior in Thailand:
Travel and Accommodation
Thailand, being a prime vacation destination, the travel and tourism sectors here have been leading the E-commerce spends with a whopping 4.1 billion dollars*.
However, it is essential to note that upon the onset of the global pandemic, this industry has suffered a significant drop in bookings due to international travel restrictions.
Electronics and Physical Media
The digital expansion of the Thailand market is best showcased in consumer behavior while purchasing electronics and physical media.
Accounting to 1.043 billion dollars*, this industry comes a close second in E-commerce spends.
Fashion and Apparel
Most e-commerce marketplaces are dominated by the fashion and apparel industry, and in Thailand, this industry makes it to the top three.
With a consumer spend of 908 million dollars*, and newer avenues of shopping opening up in mobiles, the industry is only expected to grow further.
Food and Personal Care
This sector, though not bringing as much revenue as Furniture and Appliances (660 million dollars*) or Toys, DIY and Hobbies (575 million dollars*), is still rated as the fastest growing sector in Thailand.
Consistent with the rest of the Southeast Asian trends, the sector of digital content, including music and video games, is a slow growing one in Thailand.
As the pandemic ensues and people are starved for entertainment, this sector is expected to grow more significantly in the years ahead.
How to Sell?
For any online shopper, the purchase experience plays a big role in their transaction. It begins from being able to locate the product they are looking for to receiving it at their doorstep.
Here are the aspects you need to consider when providing a satisfactory purchase experience:
Marketing and SEO
To ensure that your products are discoverable, you need to put a proper SEO and marketing strategy in place. As the number of smartphone users is increasing in Thailand, digital advertising has seen a proportionate growth.
According to Statista, by 2024, search advertising will account for nearly 38% of Thailand’s total digital advertising spends, while social media advertising will come to nearly 25%.
It’s vital then for sellers to keep their product in the consumers’ minds by starting early – which is now.
Thailand is popular for cash-on-delivery as the most prevalent payment method. Next to it, come debit and credit cards.
Digital wallets like Paypal, TrueMoney, and AirPay, only account for 23% of E-commerce transactions. Sellers should make sure that they provide all these payment options for a satisfactory purchase experience.
With the pandemic raising safety concerns everywhere, it is quite likely that digital wallets will gain more popularity, and brands need to plan for this payment method accordingly.
Shipping and Delivery
There are several ways in which you can deliver products to the consumer’s doorstep – air freight, sea freight, trucking, and more.
Especially with cross-border shipping, many moving parts come into play – such as customs, package handling, COD restrictions, and so forth.
It is advisable that you partner with a logistics service provider that takes care of the end-to-end shipping experience.
With the COVID-19 pandemic bringing more restrictions to physical marketplaces, it is not only profitable but also prudent to bring your products to E-commerce space.
If Thailand is a completely new space for you, it makes sense to bring a marketplace solutions provider, like Vinculum, that can help you with order management, easy listing, logistics solution, cross-border fulfillment, and more. Write to us to know more.
*All figures are as of January 2019, based on the Statista report.
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