Alibaba lures Thais with overseas sales
Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba is encouraging Thai businesses to use its platform to boost their sales in overseas markets as online sales have jumped during the pandemic.
"We have worked with local dealers the past 10 years, demonstrating Thailand has potential for global trade opportunities," said Stephen Kuo, Asia-Pacific head at Alibaba.com, a business-to-business (B2B) trading platform, in an online seminar.
More than 170,000 products from Thailand are on the platform and over 40,000 of them received inquiries over the past 30 days.
The country's top five product categories are food and beverage, agriculture, beauty and personal care, apparel, and home and garden.
The top buyer countries on the platform are the US, India, Britain, Australia, Canada, Russia, Mexico, Brazil, Germany and France.
According to Alibaba's internal survey, online platforms, search and supplier websites are the top three channels where B2B players source products. Product quality, total pricing and qualified suppliers are their top three concerns.
Mr Kuo said online global buyers are growing, with over 94% of them aged below 34. More than 84% of them use mobile devices to access the platform.
Speaking during the seminar, Nattapol Rangsitpol, director-general of the Industrial Promotion Department, said local small and medium-sized enterprises, including those in the agricultural sector, should use online platforms to boost their sales either through B2B or business-to-customer modes.
"Covid-19 is driving growth of online channels as offline closes down," Mr Nattapol said. "Post-Covid-19, e-commerce will continue to grow."
Local operators will be encouraged to learn more about major global platforms to promote their products in overseas markets, he said. They will be supported with training, financial assistance, tax schemes and marketing.
Tmall Global, Alibaba's premier platform for selling imported goods, announced it will step up efforts to help international brands reach the Chinese market. It aims to bring 1,000 new suppliers onto its e-commerce platform in 12 months.
The platform accommodates dozens of Thai merchants and brands.
It also rolled out a brand incubation plan, which includes a series of tools, incentives and campaigns to help brands grow in China.
Tmall Global's aim is to help each new brand reach gross merchandise value of 1 million yuan (4.4 million baht) within their first 90 days.