A global survey by PriceWaterhouseCoopers revealed that more than 51% of Thai online shoppers made their purchase via social media. In second place is India with 32%, followed by Malaysia and China at 31% and 27% respectively. This trend is driven by the key consumer trend, which is based on trust.
The importance of personal touch in Thailand ecommerce
The “personal touch” that shopping via social media offers has been highlighted as a reason behind this environment of trust, which the larger ecommerce companies selling products via websites are unable to muster. LINE or Instagram accounts allow people to communicate directly with sellers, unlike the impersonal experience with web administrators of an ecommerce website, says Pavida Pananond, associate professor of international business at Bangkok’s Thammasat University.
Thailand’s B2C Stats
- Products $14- $42 per order, accounted for approximately $13.4 million of Thailand’s $59.7 billion of ecommerce sales in 2015
- B2C sales in 2014 came to $11.6 million, out of $57.4 billion in total ecommerce sales
However, social commerce has also had its share of bad eggs. The mainstream media and online chats are occasionally peppered with reports of unscrupulous sellers trying to rip off unsuspecting buyers in this predominantly cash-based market, where cash still accounts for 90% of payments nationwide.
However, such setbacks barely dented the direction the online market is taking. The subsequent spread of ecommerce is reflected in the online trade countrywide, with once-dominant Bangkok now accounting for just 30% of the market, with the majority of ecommerce transactions now taking place in the provinces.
“In the provinces, it is not about the online experience but an easier way to get stuff you want,” says Santit Jirawongkraisorn, co-founder of Lalamove, a Bangkok-based logistics company.
A version of this appeared in Nikkei Asian Review on June 26. Read the full article here.