Singapore Migshop Launches

Source: e27

Singapore-based social entertainment platform migme has announced the launch of  its social ecommerce migshop store, according to this article on e27. Migshop will offer curated items from major Southeast Asian ecommerce platform Lazada and India-based online marketplace Snapdeal.

The store will only be accessible to users from Thailand and India for now, but plans to expand to Philippines and other markets in the region are in the works.

“The social key influencers framework plays a leading role in driving online shopping and purchasing behaviour and this has contributed to the rise of this business model in other Asian markets. Companies such as Mogujie and Meilishuo in China, which have a combined value of $3 billion, have had great success in this area. We are confident we can replicate this strategy in our key markets, where there are similar dynamics,” said migme CEO Steven Goh.

Along with the acquisition of (pay-to-bid business) in 2015 and Shopdeca (B2C ecommerce retailer) in April 2016, the launch of this new platform is expected to give migme’s social ecommerce presence a generous boost.

Social commerce in Southeast Asia

The emerging market of Southeast Asia both boast high numbers of social networking users, many of whom check their social network pages via mobile phones. PwC latest survey revealed that Thailand and Malaysia are on the top five countries where online shoppers purchased directly from social media channels. Additionally, the fact that more than 50% shoppers in Southeast Asian countries such as Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand are turning to social media to consult about their purchase is will only strengthen the influence of the platform in the future.

A version of this article appeared in e27 on June 22. Read the full article here.

SingPost Warehouse Source: Bangkok Post, Thailand Post Logistics Unit Expected To Turn Profit

SingPost Warehouse, Source: Bangkok Post

The company’s logistics revenue is expected to reach THB 480 million, a 60% increase from THB 300 million in 2015.

“We also expect to break even this year, after facing a loss of 100 million baht last year, thanks to our cost-effectiveness strategy”, said Warakan Srinualnad, chief executive of Thailand Post Distribution, the logistics arm of Thailand Post.

Thailand’s logistics market has experienced an average annual growth rate of 15% per year, highlighting a growing need for high-class logistics service.

Thailand Post began its logistics operations in 2015, mainly serving the pharmaceutical industry, ecommerce and warehouse management. The company has nine of its own storage and distribution facilities in major provinces.

The company projects revenue from its medical and pharmaceutical services to account for 80% (THB 384 million) of the total this year. Ecommerce is set to account for 12% and its warehouse management service is set to generate 8%.

“Thailand Post Distribution expects revenue from its ecommerce service to surge to THB 58 million this year, as that market is booming,” comments Srinualnad.

A version of this appeared in Bangkok Post on June 24. Read the full article here.

Facebook is targeting social commerce payments in Southeast Asia with a new trial that allows users to pay for products listed on Facebook Pages with just a few clicks.

The social network is running a trial in Thailand which allows users to make a payment to a Page owner without leaving the social network.

Qwik is a product powered by Southeast Asia-based fintech company 2C2P, one of the most popular payment solutions tailored for the local needs of Asian and international businesses operating in Asia Pacific. Qwik allows users to make payment via a credit card, debit card or bank transfer online, according to numerous sources with knowledge of the trial.

Social dominance in Asia is already well known and its influence extends to commerce, with many small and independent retailers using Facebook Pages to build and engage their audience and, of course, sell products.

The process of buying from social – browsing, reaching the seller through the message button, requesting bank account details, doing the transfer on an ATM, etc. – is hugely cumbersome for the customer in emerging markets as majority do not own credit cards, nor are familiar with internet banking but the fact is, people are so keen to buy online that they’ll jump through all types of hoops to do so.

This trial, which is somewhere in the alpha stage, is an early indicator of Facebook’s intent to keep all the processes of the social commerce transaction on its platform. Either way, this trial is the loudest signal to date of Facebook’s interest in social commerce payments in Southeast Asia and potentially other parts of Asia and emerging markets. The company has already dabbled with commerce with a feature to let users find local services which is currently being tested in India and Indonesia. While the technology behind Qwik is hardly revolutionary, entering the payment space is a major move.

A version of this appeared in Tech Crunch on June 9. Read the full article here.

Baidu expands mapping service


Baidu officially launched its travel mapping app, Baidu Map, for outbound Chinese tourists. Baidu Map is available in Mandarin Chinese and Thai. It offers maps of Thailand’s tourist attractions, restaurants and hotels for a combined 17,000 places.

“Thailand is a strategic country as it is the most popular for Chinese travelers,” said Richard Lee, Director of the International Business Development department at Baidu Inc. TAT governor Yuthasak Supasorn comments,

The number of Chinese tourists visiting Thailand is expected to reach 10 million this year, an increase from 8 million in 2015 generating 509 billion baht in revenue, up 35%

Following the surge in mobile internet usage in Southeast Asia, Baidu is adapting its expansion strategy shifting from PC-based to mobile-based services. Using Chinese tourists in Thailand as leverage, Baidu is stepping into Southeast Asia’s promising market.

Baidu Map has more than 500 million active users around the world and global searches on Baidu, the most popular search engine in China, number 10 billion a day.

Mr Lee said Baidu has 7 million monthly active users in Thailand after its inception four years ago and the company has already introduced six local mobile apps in Thailand.

In the longer term, Baidu plans to roll out its mapping service in 18 countries in Asia Pacific by tapping into the growing mapping demand from Chinese tourists traveling overseas.

A version of this appeared in Bangkok Post on June 14. Read the full article here

APAC registered the largest absolute growth in internet user numbers – up nearly 200 million users – which translates to an impressive 12% year-on-year growth. At that pace, APAC saw half a million people use the internet for the fist time every single day in the past twelve months – that’s six new users every second.

The jump in internet users may be partly the result of improved reporting, rather than representing absolute growth in user numbers. We’ve also managed to obtain reliable numbers for social media in countries where previously we had no data, but the overall growth story is still highly compelling despite these caveats. So, just how fast have the numbers been growing since our 2015 global report last January?

  • The number of reported internet users is up by 10%, growing by 332 million
  • The number of reported social media is up by 10%, an increase of 219 million
  • Unique mobile users increased by 4% thanks to 141 million new users
  • Mobile social media users leapt 17%, adding 283 million new users

Check out the presentation at: Digital in 2016 – We Are Social Singapore