Thailand’s live social sales on Facebook have surged more than 200% since February as people are hunkered down at home, with the trend likely to continue after the outbreak, says Shoplus, an artificial intelligence (AI) social sales provider from Taiwan.
“With the lockdown and closure of retail shops, the company saw Thai online merchants increase their live social sales on Facebook by 216% from February," said Kimmy Chen, general manager of Shoplus.
Shoplus offers AI live sales tools and chatbots for Facebook commerce including an order management system that integrates Facebook payment and logistics with Thailand Post and Flash Express.
Shoplus customers handled 7,035 live social sales per week in April, up from 3,000 in February.
During the New Year's holiday, live social sales events numbered about 2,000 per week, doubling to 4,000 in February.
Under the Shoplus system, about 1,200 Facebook groups of Thai sellers engage in live selling events.
There are over 150,000 sellers involved, 30% of whom have had live sales over the past 60 days.
According to Ms Chen, since February the number of new sellers subscribing to Shoplus has risen by five times.
She said Thailand is a leading market for live sales in Asean, with live sales per order averaging US$16 (518 baht), compared with $6 in Vietnam.
Shoplus earns revenue from subscription fees of $15 per month.
In the past two months, there has been a 59% increase in the number of orders made via Shoplus merchants, and an 84% increase in monthly gross merchandise value.
According to Digital 2020 April Global Statshot Report, commissioned by WeAreSocial and Hootsuite, Thailand’s value for e-commerce transactions makes up 10% of total offline and online sales transactions in 2019, ranking ninth in the world.
Denmark and Sweden were both in the pole position (17%), followed by Norway and the UK (both 15%), then Finland (13%).
Ms Chen said Thailand is a leading country in switching to live social sales.
“What people buy online has also changed as they become accustomed to the trend, with purchases moving beyond food and health essentials,” she said.
In Thailand, most live sellers present a diverse range of products, including gold, clothes and hand sanitisers.
“We’ve seen similar shifts in behaviour in Vietnam and the Philippines," said Ms Chen.
"It shows live-selling can be a long-term sales channel of choice for retail.”