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Thailand’s nascent e-commerce industry is thriving and making serious money. According to the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society, Thai e-Commerce grew the most in ASEAN, the value of Thai ecommerce grew 14% in 2018, estimating that the value would increase to USD 103 billion, and its growth is expected to hit 20% this year.
The region is flourishing
According to the report Asia-Pacific B2C E-Commerce Market, over one half of total global online retail sales happens in the Asia-Pacific region. Over 50% of all the online shopping for retail goods and services takes place in the Asia Pacific region, and South-East Asia accounts for about 40% of the e-commerce market of the region.
Southeast Asia is definitely a big new e-commerce hit, and the region is currently a very attractive market for big players involved globally in the e-commerce sector and smaller local companies.
At a reflection point of Internet penetration and mobile devices rapid spread, the population of Southeast Asia is quickly adapting its behaviors to take advantage of new purchasing products and services online opportunities.
According to the latest e-Conomy Southeast Asia 2018 report from Google and Singapore-based Temasek, the digital economy in Southeast Asia is on track to hit $240 billion by 2025, which is $40 billion more than previous estimates.
As e-commerce continues to grow exponentially, Southeast Asia will account for 20% of worldwide e-commerce by as early as 2022.
With a GDP worth of USD 602 billion, Thailand is the second largest economy in Southeast Asia, surpassed only by Indonesia. In addition to that, according to EcommerceIQ research, Thailand is also the second largest Business-to-Consumer (B2C) e-commerce market in the region.
At present, the Thai ecommerce market is valued at USD 3.5 billion. According to a Google Temasek study, Thailand’s e-commerce market value is expected to surge to 13 billion USD by 2025 on the back of strong global demand for Thai products.
As Ebay’s General Manager for Hong Kong, Taiwan and Southeast Asia border trade Jenny Hui has stated, Thai products are in global demand, with jewelries and watches, health and beauty products, auto parts, home and garden, and collectibles rapidly gaining popularity.
Electronics is currently the leading product category, accounting for USD 1.3 billion market share.
Fashion is second, accounting for USD 525 million. According to Statista, online shoppers in Thailand spend on average $283.95 USD online annually, and four years from now, this sum is expected to grow to $401.73 USD.
Young Mobile-First Generation of Users
What makes the country a true breeding ground for ecommerce is its great number of internet users – one of the highest in Southeast Asia. At present, Thailand has an Internet penetration rate of 57.4% with Millennials making up the majority and spending on average 53.2 hours a week online.
When comparing the number of Internet users over the past 10 years, there were only 16.1 million Internet users in 2008 and the number reached approximately 45 million in 2018; moreover, at present there are 124.8 million mobile subscribers, 44 million people using LINE messenger and 52 million Facebook users.
Internet-savvy young people here definitely play a key role in driving mobile commerce. Thailand is a regional leader in mobile commerce, as 52% of online transactions take place via mobile devices (only South Korea is higher with 58%). According to the Thailand Marketing Research Society, 71% of smartphone users in Thailand shop online an average of twice a month, while 90% intend to shop online in the future.
On top of that, a growing middle class with increasing incomes also plays a huge role in this surge trend.
Big players bet big on it
Thailand’s market size and e-commerce potential has made it an appealing market to foreign investment. In the last two years, Chinese Internet giants like Alibaba and JD.com have invested in Thailand.
Alibaba went through its USD $3.7 billion investment in Lazada in 2018, and USD $306 million injection into the first stage of the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), while JD.com has poured USD $457 million into a joint-venture with Thailand’s leading retail conglomerate, Central Group. E-commerce is the leading category that has received the greatest foreign investment compared to payment, logistics, fintech and food and beverage sectors.
Consequently, the increase in interest from foreign investors in Thailand’s e-commerce sector has encouraged local firms to increase their competitiveness and encouraged more SMEs in Thailand to innovate in the areas of online commerce, fintech and artificial intelligence. The investment also resulted in more joint ventures between offline wholesale companies and online companies.
Affiliate marketing opportunities
According to affiliate network Indoleads, e-commerce success brings also a bunch of great affiliate-marketing offers. About 97% of all Thailand’s ecommerce brands use affiliate marketing to attract customers. That means the opportunities for publishers are limitless, and the programs are abundant.
Lazada, Shopee and JD Central are one of the most attractive ones. The three platforms have strong financial support from larger firms. Lazada is backed by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, while Shopee is supported by Tencent, another massive Chinese company. JD Central is a joint venture of China’s JD.com and Thailand’s Central Group.
These three online marketplaces in Thailand are drawing each in over 30,000,000 sessions per month, providing brands with high visibility, and give publishers a higher chance to earn commission through sales.
Not only big international players have appealing affiliate programs. A variety of local e-commerce stores widely use affiliate marketing. For example, Namu life, a leading retailer of skincare products produced with natural ingredients, is one of the most popular shops in this niche. It is not a secret that skincare products are always in high demand in Thailand, so there is always a great choice of online stores selling them.
Another one is CMART, Thailand’s most popular e-commerce website, selling almost everything from electronics to health and beauty products and providing top-notch service. CMART has developed a successful multi–channel strategy and innovative operating model.
The travel aggregators and platforms, such as Bookaway, are also extremely popular not only among locals, but also thousands of foreigners permanently living in Thailand.
In the perspective of flourishing Thailand ecommerce market, affiliate marketing is very likely to present real and meaningful chance to reach consumers in novel, creative way to drive performance-based results. Publishers definitely should consider this option for sure.
Indoleads are happy to present you all these amazing opportunities. Indoleads is one of the leading affiliate platforms in South-East Asia. They have 500 CPS/CPL/CPA direct affiliate offers from over 60 countries around the globe. Our team is dedicated to your affiliate business success, so join Indoleads to promote Thailand brands and cut a piece of cake from their enormous revenue!