Line Thailand meets Q1 growth target

Line Thailand meets Q1 growth target

Chat commerce credited for success

Line Thailand says chat commerce through Line Official Accounts (OAs) and the MyShop tool drove business to reach the company's growth target in the first quarter despite shrinking advertising during the economic slowdown.

"Line Thailand was affected by a decline in advertising spending during the pandemic, mainly from medium to large brands, but small businesses were still heavily active in advertising, using OAs to sell their products and services online during the shutdown," Norasit Sitivechvichit, chief commercial officer of Line Thailand, said in an online media interview.

The MyShop tool, attached to OAs, enables brands to build their storefronts, manage inventory via chat commerce and provide various payment options.

MyShop's basic functions can be used for free, and in the future more advanced features will be introduced for a fee.

"One of the planned features is a live function," Mr Norasit said.

MyShop was introduced around the end of 2019 with thousands of users.

After the coronavirus outbreak hit Thailand, the number of users jumped to about 10,000, Mr Norasit said.

"Major retail and department stores that had never engaged in chat commerce before are capitalising on this channel to reach out to buyers," he said.

He described chat commerce as a channel Thais trust and through which brands can maintain relationships with customers.

According to Rakuten Insight Surveys, 65% of Thais trust data shared in messenger apps and 45% believe in data shared on social media channels.

Mr Norasit said Line supports local developers to iron out new features that respond to customer needs, including those in MyShop and other enterprise solutions that can back work-from-home measures.

"We still consider ourselves a startup even though we have 400 employees, as we are agile and ready to receive new ideas or initiatives in order to survive and serve customers in the new normal," he said.

The company is on track to meet its mid-year target despite the turbulent market, Mr Norasit said. Revenue comes from advertising on content, OAs and other value-added services, such as stickers and melodies.

Line Thailand has adopted a "growth mindset" strategy to drive towards achievement during these difficult times, Mr Norasit said.

First, the company set a high target in the challenging context and formed fresh ideas by thinking outside of the box.

Second, Line empowers employees and trusts them to work from home, hoping that the arrangement will spark creativity and productivity in the long run.

Third, the company fosters a sense of ownership and unity among employees to create a sense of shared responsibility for the organisation.

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