Google Thailand enlists partners to attract SMEs

Google Thailand enlists partners to attract SMEs

From left Mr Songyot, Mr Nuttawit and Ms Saranee at the Google event introducing help for local merchants.
From left Mr Songyot, Mr Nuttawit and Ms Saranee at the Google event introducing help for local merchants.

In a bid to empower local SMEs to capitalise on e-commerce opportunities, which are expected to reach US$13 billion (407 billion baht) by 2025, Google Thailand is joining two Thai partners to introduce the Social Shopping Ads feature.

Google wants to compete with Facebook's growing Ads and Marketplace features.

The company recently launched the Shopping Ads feature in Thailand, enabling small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to easily advertise their products in a more attractive manner on Google Search, said Saranee Boonritthongchai, head of SME business marketing for Google Thailand.

Google co-developed the application programming interface (API) with two local partners -- LnwShop, an e-marketplace provider, and ReadyPlanet, a digital advertiser -- to enable online merchants in Thailand use Shopping Ads more simply and let customers find products easier.

There are 592,000 online merchants in Thailand, and 382,000 have their own websites. According to Google, the volume of searching for businesses doubled during 2016-18.

Thailand has 3 million SMEs, representing 42% of GDP and 78% of employment.

Ms Saranee said electronics, fashion and beauty are the most popular categories for shopping.

The Shopping Ads feature is used by big marketplace players or merchants to advertise directly on Google, but the two partners will empower online merchants to use the service more easily, she said.

According to a 2018 joint study by Google and Temasek, Thailand will have 59 million internet users by 2025, or 84% of the population. E-commerce opportunity is expected to reach $13 billion in value, compared with $0.9 billion in 2015.

Nuttawit Polwattanasuk, managing director of LnwShop, said the company has 678,000 local online merchants on its platform, with 2 million visits a day. Of total visits, 50% are from Google search, 19% from advertising, 17% directly to find shops and 12% from Facebook.

With the API integration with LnwShop, product data, prices and inventory of merchants will automatically sync to Google Shopping Ads in real time so that when products are out of stock, the advertising will stop.

After operating for almost one month, LnwShop has 400 online merchants using Shopping Ads and the top 50 merchants have a sales conversion rate of 12 times.

Songyot Kanthamanon, chief executive of ReadyPlanet, said his company works with Google to help local SMEs track their websites and measure their marketing and advertising campaigns.

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