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Last week, ETDA Thailand launched ‘Ecommerce Week‘ to give SMEs a chance to match with service providers that could help them gain an online presence facilitated through a special ‘business matching’ segment. During the week long event, many speakers were invited to share their learnings in building an online business.

The proportion of SMEs is high in Thailand but the government has stated that small businesses hold the key to the country’s economic future. According to The Nation, out of 2.7 million SMEs and startups of all sizes, 600,000 are registered as various types of juristic people and the rest as individuals in Thailand. The aim of the event was to educate SME owners about ecommerce; how to effectively sell online, which tools they should utilize and how to target customers based on their product.

This is the ecommerce framework for SMEs as presented by aCommerce Director of Internet Marketing, Orakarn Chantaramungkorn.

Watch Orakarn’s presentation in Thai here: [embedyt] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZEaX9ehpUY[/embedyt]

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT

How can SMEs effectively sell online? 

The Ecommerce Framework model is composed of four key components:

  1. Product
  2. Customers
  3. Testing
  4. Tracking

Product: Think about the product that you’re selling. How does it differentiate, is it better than the competition? Price is an important element. A consumer would be less likely to choose between a Chinese android and a Samsung phone if the price of the two devices were comparable.

Customers: It’s vital to think about consumer trends. For example, the health food and clean eating trend is booming in Thailand. This prompted Korea King to launch pans that don’t require oil to cook. Asia Insurance also launched ‘Pokesurance’ to tap into Thailand’s Pokemon Go craze.

  • When targeting users on Facebook, also personalize your advertisement the best you can to your product’s target group. For example, middle aged men may not be as receptive to an advert on facial cleansers as much as women in their late twenties would be.
  • Always link to the right product that potential customers are clicking on, whether the ad appears on Facebook or a web page. Understand your engagement.

 

Let’s talk numbers

Allocating customer retention budgets is similar to arranging a stock portfolio. It’s important to think about how to reduce the cost of your online ads.

The recruiting metrics of your business depends on your budget, earnings and profits. To balance it out, calculate your earnings and costs with the number of customers you have, combined with how many times a returning customer returns, and you’ll have a realistic valuation of how much one customer is worth.

How to keep customers

Customer retention will depend on the following:

  • Type of product offered by your company (i.e. diapers, coffee are things customers will buy more than once)
  • High quality product and service
  • After sales communication (LINE is very effective in reaching out to returning customers)
sushi

Line offers a way to personalize communication with customers, which contributes to a higher return rate

A customer’s decision journey

Before a customer decides on a purchase, he/she goes through a journey of online discovery:

  • Facebook marketing
  • Google search
  • Influencer marketing
  • Price comparison site
  • Email marketing
  • Retargeting

 

Testing: Business owners can test different ads/banners depending on their target audience. A campaign can use the same budget, timing and same advertisement copy but be sent to two different target groups.

  • Test an advertisement with a target group of 30 year olds and a group of 50 year olds and then measure the results to see which one is most effective.

Tracking: Use Google Analytics to track results, and analyze your customer shopping behavior. Ensure that your account is set up correctly for accuracy in numbers, which can be later used to maximize later campaigns and improve your business success.

  • Facebook Shop allows business owners to track impressions, clicks and orders for better management of your page.
  • Having awareness of your target customers, a platform to track performance and most importantly, a reliable product means you’re on your way to starting an online business.

For more information about ETDA and their upcoming events, click here.

Thailand has become the first country to get Facebook Shop, reports The Nation. The page ecommerce section officially launched yesterday as a tool to increase online sales for small and medium sized enterprises.

The latest Page feature is available for all Facebook users across Thailand after the soft-launch in Q2. Following its release in the Kingdom, Facebook Shop will be available throughout the rest of Southeast Asia and then emerging markets around the world.

74% of Thais now use instant messaging daily, an increase from 34% in 2014.

This is why we launched Facebook Shop in Thailand first, says Rathiya Issarachaikul, Head of SME Thailand for Facebook.

What is Facebook Shop?

Facebook Shop turns Page into an ecommerce site and allows customers to communicate easily with retailers via Facebook Messenger with a ready-to-use message format as well as a saved reply that allows businesses to auto-reply with pre-set messages.

Facebook Shop will be a way for merchants to showcase their products, leveraging from the increasing number of users who shop through social networking sites.

Facebook Shop is actually a separate page within Facebook Page and its key features include merchandising, purchasing, subscription and advertising.

Facebook said the Call to Action feature allowed Page users to choose different buttons – Call Now, Shop Now, Message Now, and Learn More.

In Thailand, NIX Studio and JQ Seafood Delivery have incorporated the Shop section on their pages and both have seen sales increase.

“In April, on the first day of Songkran, we saw total orders exceed Bt1 million in a single day after adding the Shop section,” says Sureerat Seepromkhom, Founder of JQ Seafood Delivery.

In Thailand, more than 40 million people use Facebook every month. More than 38 million people access Facebook monthly on a mobile device, and more than 74% of Thais on the site are connected to at least one local SME Page.

Facebook is making an aggressive push in the Southeast Asian region, focusing on Thailand in particular, with its recent push regarding social commerce payment in the country.

A version of this appeared in The Nation on July 29. Read the full version here.