E-commerce competition to fuel growth

E-commerce competition to fuel growth

Thailand's e-commerce market can expect to account for 25% of total retail sales by 2025, rising from below 5% now, say executives in the sector, driven by fierce competition among e-commerce operators and the shifting of consumer behaviour towards online shopping.

The local e-commerce market is expected to be valued at US$51 billion by 2025, said Sheji Ho, chief of marketing for aCommerce Group, one of Southeast Asia's leading e-commerce companies.

In comparison, China's e-commerce market now accounts for 25% of its total retail.

Southeast Asia's e-commerce market is projected to reach $238 billion by 2025, reported ecommerceIQ, an Asean website.

Mr Ho said local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are increasingly moving to the e-commerce platform through social media like Facebook and Instagram.

Based on aCommerce research, up to 50% of the country's gross merchant value for e-commerce is driven by SMEs.

To capitalise on this opportunity, aCommerce is offering an academy programme to train SMEs how to do business online. The company also joined with Line Thailand to jointly provide Line@management and services to help SMEs manage their businesses effectively.

ACommerce saw an increase of 91% in revenue in 2016, thanks to the potential of the local e-commerce market and the establishment of a new office in Singapore to build its presence.

Mr Ho said businesses are increasingly moving towards a cross-channel or multi-channel approach to sales.

The company sees an opportunity in business-to-government (B2G) and business-to-employee (B2E) networks.

B2G is a platform for businesses to bid on government agency contracts, while B2E is a platform for companies to provide products and services to their employees.

Mr Ho said competition in the Thai e-commerce market is expected to intensify because of the entry of new players into the market.

"Thailand's e-commerce is shifting away from e-commerce 1.0 to the 2.0 era, where merchants move away from competing on price and focus on their uniqueness instead," he said.

Mr Ho said conventional businesses like banking, insurance and healthcare are expected to move to an e-commerce platform as the paradigm becomes more mainstream.

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