Line readies e-commerce platform

Line readies e-commerce platform

Lertad Supadilok (left), head of e-commerce business unit, Line Thailand, says online shopping in Thailand continues to grow rapidly. (Photo supplied by Line Thailand)
Lertad Supadilok (left), head of e-commerce business unit, Line Thailand, says online shopping in Thailand continues to grow rapidly. (Photo supplied by Line Thailand)

Messaging app Line is embarking on an e-commerce platform called Line Shopping by providing a wide assortment of items from 15 major online marketplaces as the online shopping market is expected to rise to 470 billion baht in three years.

The move is expected to affect similar platforms, such as RebateMango and Shopback, as well as the online marketplaces where customers may choose to buy products through Line Shopping instead of reaching them directly.

"Line foresees e-commerce will have a high growth in addition to Line Official Account, Line TV and Line Man as Thailand is one of the largest online retail markets in Southeast Asia," said Lertad Supadilok, head of e-commerce business for Line Thailand.

According to Kasikorn Research Center, Thailand's online shopping market is expected to grow at an average rate of 16 % per year and the market value could rise to about 470 billion baht in 2022.

Online shopping will account for 8.2% of the combined retail and wholesale market.

Thai people are facing challenges when they shop online, including comparing prices of products from various sources, over-advertising on online marketplaces and fraud.

To deal with these issues, Line is partnering with Priceza, a price comparison platform, to develop Line Shopping, which will be a channel where consumers can compare prices of products from various marketplaces with notifications when there are price changes, discounts or promotions, said Mr Lertad. 

These marketplaces include Lazada, Shopee, Advice, Makro, Asia Books, All About You, Aston, Beauticool, Beauty Plaza, TV Direct, Wellness Mark Shop, Nespresso, MISSHA and It's Skin.

"We use our customer relationship management (CRM) software and embrace artificial intelligence to personalise products that are displayed to each user," Mr Lertad said.

Under Line Shopping, customers will get Line points — one point is equivalent to one baht — that can be used to purchase other products from Line and Rabbit Line Pay merchants.

"Online shoppers will receive loyalty points from the marketplaces as well," said Mr Lertad.

The platform, which was initially rolled out in March, has received a promising response from online shoppers with 2.5 million active users a month. The number of shoppers through the platform is aimed at reaching 8 million by this year, or 18% of the country’s 44 million Line users.

Fashion and beauty products are expected to be a boon for the platform, which also brings new shoppers to the marketplace partners.

"Shoppers on Line may only browse through products while those in other platforms have a clear intention to purchase or search for products," said Mr Lertad.

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