Mega sales counted on to break lull in spending
Brands are gravitating towards e-commerce platforms to boost sales amid the economic slowdown and capitalising on e-marketplaces as they rev up grand sale events to attract customers.
Three large e-marketplaces are embarking on mega sales campaigns through the rest of the year.
Lazada, Shopee and JD are holding sales dubbed 9.9 (Sept 9), 11.11 (Nov 11) and 12.12 (Dec 12) to bolster consumer spending. The final quarter of the year is the golden period for e-commerce.
Siwat Chawareewong, chief executive of Group M, a leading digital media agency, pointed out that brands are spending a lot on marketing campaigns on e-commerce platforms.
"There are few brands that do not sell products online," he said.
Some 73% of internet users buy products online via their mobile devices, making Thailand the third-largest mobile e-commerce player globally in terms of penetration.
Jack Zhang, deputy chief executive of Lazada Thailand, said Lazada is not only a shopping platform but also aims to become a "lifestyle destination" for shoppers by creating more shopping experiences through entertainment such as gaming, privilege points and live broadcasts.
More online and offline experiences boost merchants' sales opportunities from both physical and virtual shops, he said.
The company is also using Alibaba technology to enhance services, ranging from e-payment and big data to automated logistics.
Thailand is the second-largest business-to-consumer (B2C) e-commerce market in the region, trailing Indonesia, Mr Zhang said, citing EcommerceIQ research.
Thanida Suiwatana, chief of marketing at Lazada Thailand, said Thailand's e-commerce market generates the most sales among the six Asean countries where Lazada has a presence.
"Online retail still accounts for only 3% of total retail in the country, and there is still room to grow," Ms Thanida said.
Lazada has 20 million users in Thailand, she said. The company aims to increase the product assortment and find more affordable products to draw the 18-24 segment to the platform.
From January to mid-August, the platform's top three searched items were handbags, shoes and watches.
Ms Thanida said health and beauty and electronics continue to be the best-selling product categories on Lazada.
Lazada Group recently signed a memorandum of understanding with the Small and Medium Venture Business Department and the Small and Medium Business Distribution Centre of South Korea to bring products from the country to the Asean market.