Lazada to provide online training to local SMEs
Lazada Group, a subsidiary of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, plans to provide training to 30,000 local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) this year to raise their online capabilities.
The development has come after Alibaba signed a letter of intent with the government to help it move towards the Thailand 4.0 economic model.
Lazada will be responsible for providing training to local SMEs, as well as working closely with Thailand Post in order to jointly develop e-logistics systems to provide both domestic and cross-border e-commerce services, said Alessandro Piscini, chief executive of Lazada Thailand.
Alibaba will also provide digital marketing training to 10,000 state officials.
Mr Piscini also said Lazada is ready to cooperate with the government's initiative to collect taxes on e-commerce transactions.
"Lazada has set up business in Thailand and is registered in Thailand. We pay taxes to the Thai government," he said.
Lazada has increased the number of its products and services sold on its website to 4.8 million items in 17 categories as of March 2017, from 2.3 million items in March 2016.
"Lazada is the eighth most popular site in Thailand," said Mr Piscini.
Lazada last month rolled out the Lazada TV website in Thailand and Indonesia, which streams live video content that helps the company's online vendors to interact with customers through the website and Facebook fanpages.
He said Lazada is expanding its reach through social media and mobile channels as Thais spend an average of five hours on their smartphones a day. Based on reports, Thais are among the biggest online video consumers in the world, said Mr Piscini.
"We might earn revenue from the Lazada TV in the future," he said.
To mark the fifth anniversary of Lazada Thailand, the company is having a three-day sale, from March 21-23, with discounts up to 90% on its website.
Thailand's e-commerce market is expected to reach 87 billion baht in 2017, up from 67 billion last year, thanks to the proliferation of mobile devices and nationwide high-speed wireless connectivity, said Hong Cheol Jeon, chief executive of 11street Thailand, the South Korean e-commerce operator launched last month in Thailand.
Thailand's e-commerce market is expected to account for 5% of total retail sales over the next five years, up from less than 1% of retail sales currently, he said.
In South Korea, e-commerce accounts for 14% of retail sales.
Mr Jeon aims for 11street Thailand to become the top the Thai online marketplace by 2020 with sales transactions of US$1 billion.
The company is spending 300 million baht to build its brand awareness to attract online shoppers, targeting people aged 25-34 years.
After the soft launch on Dec 21 in Thailand, 11street Thailand has 150,000 registered customers with total transactions value of 200 million baht.
The company has 9,000 online vendors selling 3 million products.