Tarad.com, a local e-marketplace, is transforming its business to become an e-commerce enabler for brands and small businesses shifting to digital, promoting Thai products through online cross-border trade.
The move aims to help local businesses avoid relying on giant global e-commerce players while battling against Chinese imports.
"Thailand's e-commerce competition will continue to be intense for another five years, causing some players to disappear, with only two standing in the end," said Pawoot Pongvitayapanu, founder of Tarad.com, which is 51% owned by TSpace Digital Co, the digital arm of TCC Group.
Tarad wants to transform its e-marketplace to offer universal commerce, providing an end-to-end platform covering creation of websites, integrating with other marketplaces (Lazada and Shopee) and social commerce (Facebook), and offering payment and logistics (digital marketing, advertising and data analytics).
The rapid growth of local e-commerce, which is estimated to be worth 3.15 trillion baht, representing 14% growth in 2019, in addition to internet users rising to 45 million are all factors leading brands to use the online channel.
To capitalise on this opportunity, Tarad wants to serve demand from large and mid-sized brands that are offline but eager to expand via online by offering them a project-based price of 100,000 baht, lower than that of its rivals.
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with products totalling less than 35 SKUs (stock-keeping units) can use the service for free, pay a fee if they need more services in the 'freemium' model.
Tarad.com has 200,000 merchants, of which 20% are big brands and 80% SMEs.
"We will switch to acquire more large customers in our new business model," said Mr Pawoot.
He acknowledged other e-marketplaces also offer total e-business solutions, but said they are still limited to brands, while Tarad allows all clients to have a single view of product management and sales on every channel.
Tarad.com is open to turning its rivals -- Lazada and Shopee -- into business partners.
Mr Pawoot said by the end of this year, it plans to connect with overseas platforms such as Amazon, eBay, Japan's Rakuten and the Malaysian government's site.