Riding on e-commerce boom to counter pandemic fallout in Thailand


BANGKOK, March 14 (Xinhua): Triggered in part by Covid-19 pandemic lockdowns, an increasing number of consumers in Thailand are shifting online and businesses having adapted to digital platforms are thriving.

The Merge, a young Thai clothing brand, is one of these trying to ride on the pandemic-induced e-commerce boom.

"We have not thought of opening a brick-and-mortar store. We believe opportunities abound in the e-commerce sector, especially during the pandemic period," said Ponpavee Danmingyenvong, one of the co-founders of the brand.

Designed for specific statures, the brand soon attracted over 80,000 followers after being launched online in May 2020 and secured a large group of shoppers.

When the second wave of coronavirus outbreak struck Thailand in mid-December last year, a new round of social distancing and restrictive measures dented consumer spending and confidence, eroding sales of the Merge.

However, a loyal consumer base has helped the company cushion the blow, and strengthened its determination to further tap into online market. In January this year, it joined the platform of the Lazada, the Southeast Asian e-commerce giant, where sales now account for 40 percent of the company's total revenue.

"The pandemic has created many challenges, for us, for Thailand and for businesses around the world, but what matters is to explore opportunities in the challenges. We see the opportunity in e-commerce and we seize it," said Kanittha Danmingyenvong, Ponpavee's sister and business partner.

"People have been more and more accustomed to working or studying from home, and they have much less access to the retail businesses offline, but a lot more coming back to online platform," said Werapong Goo, senior vice-president of e-commerce at Lazada Thailand.

The numbers of shoppers and sellers on the Lazada platforms both have registered three-digit growth for three consecutive quarters, according to Lazada.

A high Internet penetration rate, which is expected to hit 78 percent by the end of this year according to database company Statista, and an increasingly prosperous group are also behind an growingly important e-commerce scene in Thailand.

The e-commerce boom has spurred demand for related logistics and warehousing. "The volume of our orders is astonishingly high," said Cheng Mohao, a sales manager of the FlashFulfillment, a warehousing and delivery company in Thailand.

To tap into the burgeoning market, the FlashFulfillment expanded its capacity by increasing the area of its warehouse to more than 30,000 square meters, according to Cheng.

Lazada has vowed to amplify its investment in key marketing campaigns and roll out a series of new solutions, including a cross-store platform promotion tool this year to spur customer spending amid the pandemic, according to Werapong.

"In 2021, Lazada will offer new tools, solutions and strategies, such as Lazada Bonus, a cross-store platform promotion tool, where Lazada co-funds discounts for shoppers to bring more traffic to the platform, which will generate greater transactions for sellers," he said. - Xinhua
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Thailand , E Commerce , Boming , Covid-19 , Online Sales


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