Bosch seeking to gain traction online via Lazada
The Thai unit of a German auto parts maker, Robert Bosch Limited (Bosch), is upbeat about online sales via Lazada -- a subsidiary of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group -- expecting double-digit growth next year.
To achieve its goal, the company announced yesterday it is selling more than 500 parts from the Bosch Official Store on Lazada.
Kuldhaj Bunbongkarn, general manager of Automotive Aftermarket in Thailand and Laos, said Bosch launched its e-commerce business in March to complement and reinforce its retail channels.
Prior to that, Bosch sold products via its local distributors and car garages through the business-to-business model. The e-commerce channel is business-to-customer (B2C), allowing buyers to replace parts by themselves.
"We are optimistic about strong growth in our first year because of the combination of quality offerings with a popular, efficient and trusted e-commerce platform," he said, adding Bosch has strengthened its online footprint to be more receptive to customers through the popular Line application.
Mr Kuldhaj said Bosch has expanded its range of products to include lubricants, batteries and battery chargers, but the best-selling products remain wiper blades.
Bosch will continue to expand its portfolio of online offerings to consumers, including Bosch Car Service vehicle maintenance packages, he said.
In Southeast Asia, Bosch's automotive spare parts are available at its official stores on Lazada in Thailand as well as in the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia.
The Electronic Transactions Development Agency projects Thailand's e-commerce market in 2017 will be worth 2.52 trillion baht, up 12.4% from 2016.
Joyfulness Co, a Bangkok-based technology consulting firm, predicts Thailand will be the Asean Economic Community hub for e-commerce and e-payments this year.
Lazada is one of the largest e-commerce platforms in Asia, ranked first in terms of monthly B2C web traffic in Thailand, according to ecommerceIQ, a Southeast Asian market research portal focused on online retail.
Bosch reported revenue of 11.9 billion baht from its Thai business last year, a 10.2% rise.
Managing director Joseph Hong said the firm has a positive outlook based on the national road map towards Thailand 4.0, while Bosch has a long-term strategy of being a leading provider of connectivity solutions for the Internet of Things.