LINE Thailand is gearing up to attract sellers to its e-commerce platform Line Shopping to strengthen its leading position in social commerce amid intensifying competition with short-video platform TikTok recently joining the fray.
Sales through social commerce accounted for 61% of Thailand's 270-billion-baht e-commerce market, according to Southeast Asia Social Commerce Report 2021, jointly conducted by data analytics firm iKala and Line.
TikTok is now focusing on social commerce business by entrusting Kerry Express as its delivery service provider on TikTok Shop, a new feature from TikTok that allows customers to shop for products offered by merchants.
"We aim to attract more social sellers to the platform with a target of at least 30% from around 436,000 merchants to strengthen our leading position in social commerce," said Lertad Supadhiloke, director of e-commerce at Line Thailand.
Merchants from five million LINE Official Accounts (OAs) have the potential to leverage LINE Shopping to increase their sales and boost the fan base, he said.
LINE Shopping earns from advertising fees collected from merchants via their LINE OAs.
"LINE does not charge a sale commission fee as we aim to bring back liberty to Thai sellers," said Mr Lertad.
LINE Shopping provides tools that can support merchants' order management and discount marketing through LINE Points.
Next year, LINE Shopping aims to launch a "Social Sales" feature that allow buyers to share merchants through their network. It also pledges to seek logistics partners for delivery services and support merchants with live commerce tools.
The platform will also use artificial intelligence (AI) to recommend products to suit customers' preferences with items across product categories.
LINE Shopping saw gross merchandise value grow 45% year-on-year in the first seven month of this year despite economic challenges. The top product category was food and beverage, followed by fashion then health and beauty.
"The biggest growing category was mum and baby products with the frequency of the purchase twice as much as other categories," said Mr Lertad.
The merchants with a fan base are likely to see 2-3 times more in product sales when they launch new items, he said.
In terms of buyers, LINE has 12 million active users per month out of 53 million LINE accounts.
Mr Lertad said buyers on the platform are less impacted by the economic woes.
However, the frequency of purchases dropped 10% last month due to the long holidays.
According to him, 41% of LINE Shopping users are aged 20 to 29 and the basket size is around 1,000-1,200 baht on average per user.
Merchants with at least 100 followers have the potential to receive sales orders every month while those with at least 40,000 followers are the top sellers, he said.
LINE Shopping plans to organise Social Commerce Day 2022 to equip merchants with knowledge that can boost their sales. The event will be held at Samyan Mitrtown on Aug 27.
According to Future Shopper Report 2021, commissioned by marketing communications agency Wunderman Thompson, social commerce is an important channel for Thai shoppers, who top the global list for the highest percentage of social commerce buyers at 88%.