Is Thailand ready to become a cashless society? While research by Google and Temasek in 2016 forecasted that all countries in Southeast Asia would have an internet economy of over 5 billion dollars by 2025; is logistics and the payment system in Thailand ready?
During the recent Priceza eCommerce Awards this 25 January 2017, industry leaders Mr. Worawoot Ounjai (CEO of COL Public Company Limited), Mr. Nuttawit Polwattanasuk (MD of LnwShop), Mr. Thanawat Malabuppa (CEO of Priceza Group), Mr. Tarin Thaniyavarn (CCO of Lazada), and Mr. Thananan Arunrugtichai (Assistant Director of Ascend Group) shared insiders’ insights on the eCommerce trends in Thailand.
Session: 2017 eCommerce Trends in Thailand
Mr. Thanawat started the session with sharing his thoughts on how the quality and reliability of online shopping services are potentially some of the important factors that would help to drive growth and the acceptance rate of eCommerce models in the region. In addition, Mr. Thanawat continued to share that the Priceza Awards was organized to recognize online sellers in Thailand who are at the top of consumer’ minds.
On the topic of what would help propel the eCommerce economy for the country, Mr. Worawoot shares that he feels the potential for online shopping can be five to six times higher that it currently is, at around three percent compared to retail and physical stores. In order for that to happen, Mr. Worawoot elaborates that omni-channel strategies would help to discover a good balance between physical retail stores and online shops.
As for the growth of social commerce, Mr. Tarin shares that he feels this is one of the direction for the industry and could be very effective for Thailand as well as for the whole Southeast Asia eCommerce market.
“People nowadays, tend to engage more with electronic devices such as smartphones and tablets. For the eCommerce industry, we refer to this large group as the millennial shopper. And things such as direct interaction with the sellers, and being able to contribute more than just making the online payment during the buying process are important.”
With regards to cashless payments, Mr. Nuttawit shares his thoughts that many online consumers in Thailand may currently still prefer cash on delivery (COD) and direct bank transfer. He continues to explain that consumers’ opinion on the safety of online payment options is one of the challenges for Thailand.
“Cashless payment system is a challenge for Thailand. Many Thai online shoppers still voice their concerns about the safety of online payments.”
Mr. Thananan, adds his opinion on cashless payment systems, predicting that ePayment systems may be better established in Thailand in the next two to three years. “By that time, Thailand will be ready to fully apply the system and integrate it well with all sectors.”
In conclusion, all industry leaders who joined the discussion session agreed that Thailand is ready for becoming a cashless society, while there are nevertheless challenges to face along the way.
Session: What Millennial Shoppers Want
In the following session, which focused on what millennial shoppers are looking for when they shop online, Mr. M Khajochi from MacThai.com and Mr. Supadej Sutthiphongkanasai Moderator at the Tech Offsite TV Show contributed their thoughts.
According to Mr. M Khajochi, “The millennial shopper are consumers who spend time to search for options. This type of shopper will spend a lot of time researching before deciding to buy something. They will read reviews; they will want to know more about the product details and benefits.”
Mr. Supadej further shares that the millennial shopper is more picky, careful but also impulsive.
“They have the need to spend their money in the best possible way. They want it to be worth the spend. Millennial shopper will have less time watching TV or reading newspaper and magazine. They spend most of their time on smartphones or any other mobile devices.”
“As a business owner, it becomes very important to follow this trend and keep watch on anything viral. Creating ads based on this behavior is a good way to target the millennial shopper. They need convenience and everything should be fast. Fast internet, easier login to online shops using LINE ID or Facebook login, fast delivery. And the most important thing is after sale service.”
The industry leader sessions concluded with Mr. Thanawat sharing that he and his team envisions Priceza as being part of the efforts in making the retail ecosystem in Southeast Asia as transparent as possible.