As ecommerce in Thailand is aggressively propelling forward, even companies with a rich traditional heritage such as Somjai, one of Thailand’s oldest and most famous stationery store chains, are going online to grow their sales channels.
And there is good reason for that – the number of customers shopping online is steadily increasing.
According to Statista, 12.1 million consumers in Thailand are expected to make purchases online this year.
This number is projected to grow by 15% within the next five years reaching 13.9 million in 2021.
In Thailand, 4.4 million online shoppers are 25-34 year olds and are followed closely by 3.9 million online users aged 16-24 years.
These two age brackets together make up two thirds of all online shoppers and the ratio is projected to remain consistent in the medium term.
Overall, it is forecasted that within five years, every fourth Thai will shop online, up from around every fifth now.
But ecommerce user growth in the Land of Smiles is not even the fastest in Southeast Asia. In Indonesia, ecommerce user penetration is expected to almost double from 2015 to 2021. However, the amount customers in Thailand are expected spend on average online is predicted to soar.
In 2021, an online Thai buyer will spend $382 per year, which is 57% more than the expected spending of $243 per user in 2017.
What to keep in mind?
More online shoppers means more potential customers for businesses with online channels. Understanding the trends of what, when and where these customers buy is essential to capturing more of them going online.
- Thais have more money to spend on shopping as Thailand has the third highest GDP per capita in the region after Singapore and Malaysia.
- More companies in Thailand are seeing the benefits of an omni-channel strategy such as Zara, Uniqlo, Adidas who have invested in their own brand.com in addition to offline stores.
- The tech-savvy generation (16-34 year olds) is accustomed to online shopping both on social media, e-marketplaces/brand.com.
- Spending power will continue to rise and two-thirds of consumption growth in the period to 2030 will come from increasing per capita spending.
- Research reports, tools such as Google’s Consumer Barometer and eIQ articles provide useful insights on Thailand’s online shoppers’ behavior…
Will Covid-19 unleash a new generation of digital nomads?
– Covid-19 has facilitated the widespread adoption of remote working
– Despite travel restrictions, countries are seeking to attract digital nomads
– Dubai and Mexico have emerged as key destinations for foreign remote workers
– As travel resumes, many anticipate a new wave of roaming digital nomads
With Covid-19 facilitating the widespread adoption of remote working practices, some emerging markets are seeking to attract digital nomads through a series of incentives and special visas.
Despite border closures and travel restrictions resulting from the virus, various countries are stepping up efforts to incentivise the movement of so-called digital nomads – people who work remotely and relocate relatively freely.
For example, in October the Dubai government launched its virtual working programme, an initiative that gives foreign professionals the opportunity to move to the emirate and continue to work remotely in their current jobs.
The one-year programme, launched after Dubai reopened its borders to international tourists in July last year, is designed is attract professionals, entrepreneurs and those working in start-ups.
Given its strong ICT infrastructure and healthy start-up scene, Dubai has been seen as an increasingly attractive option for digital nomads in recent years, with officials marketing the emirate as a place where people can live and work by the beach.
As a further incentive, in January officials began offering free vaccines to those on the programme.
Covid-19 and medical tourism: is a recovery on the cards?
– Before the pandemic, medical tourism was a major growth area
– Dubai was a world leader among emerging market destinations
– Covid-19 travel bans and lockdowns seriously dented growth
– Increased emphasis on safety has enabled a gradual re-opening
Prior to the outbreak of coronavirus, medical tourism was a significant growth industry in many emerging economies. While the pandemic represented a major setback for the segment, there are signs that it may be recovering in several markets.
The last decade saw a boom in medical tourism. By 2018 the global market was generating $58.6bn annually and in 2019 it was forecast to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 11.7% – reaching more than $142.2bn by 2026.
The segment’s growth was largely spurred by increased awareness – particularly among citizens of higher-income countries – of the quality and relatively affordable health care options on offer in many emerging economies. The appeal was further enhanced by the possibility of combining medical treatment with a holiday in an attractive location.
Asia has been a popular region for medical tourism for some time. In Thailand, for example, guided by the Ministry of Public Health’s 2016-25 strategic plan entitled ‘Thailand: A Hub of Wellness and Medical Services’, stakeholders have been working to cement the country’s position as a regional leader in medical tourism.
Elsewhere in Asia, in 2017 the Indian government began offering a medical visa aimed at bringing in more foreign patients.
Governments in other regions similarly moved to capitalise on this growing segment. In 2015, for example, Turkish Airlines announced a 50% discount on flights for people coming to Turkey for medical treatment.
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