Thailand heads eBay in SE Asia

Thailand heads eBay in SE Asia

Thailand has maintained in its position as eBay's largest market in Southeast Asia thanks to the appreciation of the US dollar and the variety of Thai products, says the world's largest e-marketplace.

The California-based e-commerce operator is gearing up to encourage Thai small and medium-sized exporters to use its marketplace to expand export opportunities, said Ekachai Rukachantarakul, head of eBay Marketing (Thailand).

The company is facing stiff competition from global e-commerce players such as China's Alibaba.

Mr Ekachai said Thailand was eBay's largest online retailer in Southeast Asia in terms of sellers and trade value. It established a presence in Thailand in 2009.

An internal report revealed that online shopping makes up just 1% of retail sales in Southeast Asia compared with 8% in China and more than 10% in the US and Britain.

In addition, e-commerce in the Asean region accounts for less than 1% of the global market.

However, Mr Ekachai said eBay expected Asean's e-commerce to grow by 25% in the coming years, up from average growth of 15% in the past four years.

A report by digital marketing research firm eMarketer estimated that the global business-to-consumer e-commerce market could increase from an expected US$1.7 trillion in 2015 to $2.3 trillion by 2018.

Most of eBay's 157 million active buyers are in the US, Australia, Britain and Germany.

"Thailand also has the 10 best sellers or retail exporters with revenue of more than $1 million per year, the highest in the region," Mr Ekachai said.

The best-selling products from Thailand are jewellery and gemstones, auto parts, clothes and shoes.

Mr Ekachai said eBay would join forces with successful retailers to encourage other companies to use its marketplace.

"We found 13% of Thai retailers joining eBay's marketplace could generate sales revenue of $10,000 a year," he said.  

Globally, has 25 million sellers. In the first quarter of 2015, its revenue reached $2.1 billion. Its gross merchandise value was $20 billion. It earns commission from transactions.

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