Ascend Corporation has officially launched its own online marketplace, Wemall on June 6, reports Bangkok Post. Wemall is an $8.5 million (300 million THB) investment by the corporation and is positioned as Thailand’s first ‘online brand marketplace’.
Wemall has replaced Ascend Corporation’s iTruemart.com and now has over 100 brands participating with the company’s platform, providing approximately 60,000 product items after launching for one trial month. Wemall’s goal is to have 3,000 brands in its marketplace by 2017, selling products ranging from beauty, fashion and electronic gadgets.
Thailand’s online retail commerce will continue to grow by at least 30% over the next few years, driven by increased smartphone penetration and intense competition among ecommerce operators
The government’s PromptPay service under the national e-payment scheme is also speculated to spur the nation’s ecommerce growth. According to Punnamas Vichitkulwongsa, Chief Executive of Ascend Commerce, Thailand’s online retail commerce accounted for 2% of the total retail market in 2015. Punnamas Vichitkulwongsa, Chief Executive of Ascend Commerce comments,
We expect online retail will account for 10% of the total retail market within the next few years.
As reported by The Nation, Wemall is focusing on end-to-end services, with two main forms of partnerships with brands; one being full-scale services and the other self-formulated services. Brands will be able to run their own online outlets via ready-to-use features, which can be adjusted in real time to accommodate increasingly competitive environments.
Mr. Punnamas also expressed optimism about mobile commerce, as the sector claims 49% of total ecommerce transactions.
Ascend Corporation plans to expand regionally in ASEAN using Wemall as a business role model for other countries. Nothing concrete has been announced regarding regional expansion.
A version of this article appeared in The Bangkok Post on July 7. Read the full version here.