E-commerce set for 30% rise

E-commerce set for 30% rise

Initiatives for the development of the digital economy and the start of Asean market integration are set to stimulate a 30% rise in the e-commerce market this year, as the internet is seen as a tool that can support business growth.

Digital marketing firm ReadyPlanet.com expects the number of online merchants to grow by 30% to 1 million this year.

The local e-commerce market is also projected to increase by 30%, chief executive Songyot Kanthamanon said yesterday.

"This year looks set to be the brightest one for digital marketing and e-commerce as firms seek to take advantage of steadily increasing mobile internet usage and the arrival of the Asean Economic Community," he said.

Mr Songyot identified four key factors that will be important drivers of the e-commerce market this year — a significantly higher number of online merchants; widespread adoption of powerful data analytic tools for digital advertisers; greater popularity of electronic payment systems; and faster delivery of products to online shoppers.

He said the steadily increasing number of mobile internet users was encouraging companies to go online as wireless internet became the preferred channel in consumer communications. This phenomenon can be attributed to the growing number of online merchants and the growth of e-commerce.

"Based on our internal research, the number of online merchants will increase by 30% this year to 1.01 million," Mr Songyot said. "Of the total, 800,000 will be individuals involved in e-commerce activities, 200,000 small and medium-sized companies and 5,000 large organisations."

The Digital Advertising Association (Thailand) said that as of last June 30, smartphone users accounted for 30% of the total 94.3 million mobile subscribers.

The number of Facebook users was 30 million. YouTube viewers in Thailand totalled 26.6 million.

Mr Songyot said the number of internet users here is expected to grow by at least 20% this year, fuelled by the digital economy policy, which is stimulating the development and investment in core telecommunications infrastructure including fixed-based broadband network and fourth-generation wireless broadband.

To capitalise on these opportunities, Mr Songyot said ReadyPlanet planned to provide tailor-made training courses on digital marketing and e-commerce to increase digital marketing knowledge and skills.

"Our goal is to encourage offline community products and services including spas, restaurants and local products from communities under the One Tambon One Product project to have a digital presence," Mr Songyot said.

The company is also focusing on providing digital marketing consulting services for companies who want to make their online presence on professionally designed websites such as Google, Facebook and Baidu to increase sales.

Mr Songyot said ReadyPlanet expected revenue to grow by 50% this year, about the same pace as last year.

Digital advertising is expected to account for 60% of revenue, with 30% from web-hosting services and the rest from training courses.

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