Amway likes tech possibilities

Amway likes tech possibilities

E-commerce seen as path to sales growth

President Doug DeVos says Thailand is an important market for Amway, one of the world's biggest direct sales companies.
President Doug DeVos says Thailand is an important market for Amway, one of the world's biggest direct sales companies.

US direct sales company Amway will spend more than 50% of its investment budget on technology, particularly e-commerce, over the next few years to drive sales and enhance business efficiency.

"We will mainly invest in technology because it has a big impact on people whose lifestyles revolve around digital technology and innovation," said Amway president Doug DeVos.

Over few past years, Amway has used advanced technology to develop Nutrilite food supplements and Artistry cosmetics and skincare products to make them widely accepted among consumers.

Amway Thailand Ltd is the top direct sales company locally, with a 25% market share worth 62 billion baht last year, according to the Thai Direct Selling Association.

Mr DeVos, who visited Bangkok yesterday, said the majority of Amway's technological investment in Thailand will go to its internal IT system and improve the e-commerce platform to help boost sales for Amway business owners.

"The sales contribution from e-commerce will be significant in the next few years, but it's too early to forecast specifically. What we know now is the e-commerce platform will be a big part of our future growth and we have to invest in it to compete with other players," he said.

Amway will further develop the business performance indicator system to help its business owners monitor sales performances and improve them.

Mr DeVos said its investment in technology will help build a more solid foundation for Amway to grow further in Thailand.

"Thailand is very important to us as it is the fifth largest market in the Amway global network, after China, South Korea, the US and Japan. Moreover, the entrepreneurship spirit of business owners here is quite strong," he told the Thai media yesterday.

According to 2016 Amway Global Entrepreneurship Report, 77% of survey respondents worldwide have a positive attitude toward running their own businesses.

Last year, the global direct sales industry was valued US$180 billion, growing 6% from 2015, and it is forecast to expand around 6-7% this year.

Amway's global sales last year stood at $8.8 billion, of which 46% came from the Asia-Pacific region.

Over the next few years, the sales contribution from Asia-Pacific is expected to reach two-thirds of its global sales.

Kittawat Ritteerawee, managing director of Amway Thailand, said the company has already realised its huge potential.

Last year, its sales grew 6%, beating the industry growth at 1-2%, and its investments have created both business opportunities and good customer experiences.

The sluggish economy and weak consumption made the Thai direct sales market grow modestly last year, lower than the average growth over the past three years, when it was seen to double the country's economic growth rate.

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