ecommerceIQ, together with Sasin SEC, created the Leadership Ecommerce Accelerator Program (LEAP) to provide the fundamental knowledge and skills needed to successfully run an ecommerce business in the world’s fastest growing market.

Ecommerce, as the name suggests, is the process of buying and selling a product over the internet. The ability to shop online is not confined to only laptops and PCs, but more and more, being conducted on smartphones and tablets in developing regions.

Opportunity is where the people are; in Thailand alone, mobile social users make up 42 million out of the country’s total 68.22 million population making the smartphone an important channel for retail companies.

The sixth week of LEAP looked at the potential of mobile commerce, introduced the fundamentals of app marketing, and illustrated how an omni-channel strategy is possible in even Thailand’s oldest, highly reputable, retail players – Central Group.

1. Three Mega Trends of a Mobile-Driven Economy


Brands often ask, “what do customers want next?”, the truth is that many of them don’t really know what they want.

Instead of watching customer behavior for trends, it’s better to watch innovative businesses.

LEAP Ecommerce Course

Nathania Christy, TrendWatching Insights & Community Lead APAC

According to TrendWatching, brands must create something that serves the basic needs of humans as well be aware of how these needs will evolve. This is how to achieve what Nathania calls the “sweet spot”.

LEAP Ecommerce Course

She discussed three mega trends during her lecture and how businesses can integrate them into core products:

1. Helpfull – contextualizing a brand’s omni-presence to serve convenience-oriented consumers. It does not have to be online or involve with sophisticated technology.

Example: In Indonesia, government officials employ WhatsApp to allow Indonesians to schedule appointments with government agencies. Effectiveness does not require fancy technology, your goal can be achieved as long as it answers a basic need – convenience.

2. Infolust – information is everywhere, today’s consumers want to be informed in real-time.

Example: Japanese supermarket “U” proves that its produce is fresh by launching an official Snapchat account and filming the journey of its fish through “Stories”.

3. Joyning – there are various types of connections made possible through a mobile-driven society:

  • Instant Encounters are about making direct, face-to-face contact to create relationships
  • Middlemen Removal becomes the new business model where intermediary is eliminated and in return, brands are able to produce goods of better quality and price
  • Digital Detox is much needed as more consumers are glued to their phones and less people are connecting in real life
  • Mass Mingling offers an activity for consumers to get together and do meaningful things in groups

Example: KLM Royal Dutch Airlines brought strangers together during Christmas time by preparing a Christmas feast that was only accessible if every seat around the dinner table was filled. Take a look at the heart-warming application of Mass Mingling by KLM here.

Want more mega trends? We’ve shared the TrendWatching deck here.

2. App Installs Do Not Translate into Success  


For brands that offer a mobile application, getting consumers to install the app may be a main objective but it doesn’t guarantee success.

Why? Because consumers uninstall applications all the time. Thailand has a 34% rate of uninstalls for Android app users.

LEAP Ecommerce Course

Jonah Kadish, AppsFlyer Customer Success Manager

So how can brands measure app success? Rather than focus on driving installs, focus on in-app events. They include:

App usage – Is it frequent within a week?

Session length – Is it long enough to make a purchase?

LEAP Ecommerce Course

3. The Importance of Omni-Channel in the View of Central Group


As the world of commerce evolves, so does a customer’s’ expectation.

LEAP Ecommerce Course

Selling goods is no longer defined by the famous 4Ps (Product, Price, Place and Promotion) but rather the experience that consumers are expecting to get. Khun Bhumsaran shares a private case study regarding Topshop’s success moving into an omni-channel strategy.

LEAP Ecommerce Course

Bhumsaran (Top) Amthong, Central Online SVP Head of Commercial

The next class is on Thursday October 19th and will take a look at logistics and fulfillment, from industry leaders include Lazada and Pomelo. Stay tuned for next week’s takeaways!

[LEAP Week 1] eIQ Insights: The New Ecommerce Opportunity in Thailand

[LEAP Week 2] eIQ Insights: Refinement of an Ecommerce Channel Strategy

[LEAP Week 3] eIQ Insights: Market-Product Fit First Before Anything

[LEAP Week4] eIQ Insights: Central Marketing Group’s Shares Phase II of Digital Strategy

[LEAP Week 5] eIQ Insights: Startups Need to Have an Independent Source of Income to Survive

For those in Bangkok, it’s almost impossible not to notice the red banners splashed across the city’s skytrain stations. Right in the heart of Bangkok’s mall district are surfaces covered in ads for Korean e-marketplace 11street, which made it’s long awaited launch in February.

11street advert at Bangkok’s skytrain stations

11street ads are even on Rabbit cards – the card passengers use to tap in and out of skytrain stations

The Korean e-marketplace has gained high website traffic following its launch, high enough to be catching up to leading B2C site Lazada in Thailand. Although 11street’s 7.6 million visits in January is still very modest compared to Lazada’s 41.6 million, the Korean giant has managed to reach traction where other players such as Central online or Zalora have not managed.

Below are search results for 11street and Lazada, for comparison:

Google search results for 11street. Source: Foundamatic

Google search results for Lazada

“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,” says Hong Cheol Jeon, CEO of 11street Thailand.

The marketplace is planning to spend one billion baht or $28,522,540 USD on only marketing.

Well, it seems to be working as the website reportedly saw 14 million visits within 42 days and plans to become the no.1 marketplace within four years, if not earlier.

11street’s expensive marketing efforts also include signing famous brand ambassadors for the marketplace as Thai’s especially are still influenced by celebrities. Thai actress Nittha Jirayungyurn and Korean actor Song Joong-Ki, can be seen holding up the iconic 11street handle signal in skytrain stations.


The ecommerce market in Thailand is big enough for more than one dominant player and the company’s efforts in making an entrance is expected. After the PR buzz dies down, it is really down to which platform can provide the best customer experience and grab more market share.

This means reliable delivery, active customer support, wide selection of products and easy payment options.

Let the games begin.