E-Commerce Sales Up 35% Due To Covid-19

Driven by COVID-19 impacts, e-commerce sales in Thailand surged in categories of Business-to-Consumer (B2C) and Consumer-to-Consumer (C2C) reaching 220 billion baht up 35% year over year from 163 billion baht in 2019, according to Thanawat Malabuppha, CEO Priceza and president of Thailand e-Commerce Association.

Speaking in virtual press conference, he said a share of online retail from overall retail business this year will increase from 3% last year to be 4-5% this year, and over next 5-10 years, it will rise to 25% which is the same proportion as China.

Online will keep growing in the world of post Covid-19, he said, adding the online is not “optional”, but “survival” for businesses. The hardly flexible businesses are those whose assets are low such as Facebook Fanpage followers, Line Official Account followers.

Thanawat added that a competition of social media and e-marketplace will become tighter this year. There will be no new Thai e-commerce players, but opportunities are opened for online advertising, logistics and payment.

In 2019, e-marketplace became more popular channel for online shopping, growing from 35% in 2018 to 47% in 2019, while shopping via social media decreased from 40% to 38%, and E-tailer/Brand.com declined from 25% to 15%.

Priceza forecasted that market share of social commerce in 2019 would be: Facebook(42%), Line (34%), Instagram (19%), Twitter  (5%). The e-marketplace, Shopee is going to overtake Lazada.

Market competition of social media and e-marketplace was getting harsher in the past year. Facebook introduced Shops, a new feature allows sellers to simply create digital storefronts on Facebook and IG, Line announced MyShop on its Official Account. Meanwhile, e-marketplace players have increased such social features as Chat and Live on their platforms.

According to Priceza, the e-commerce sales growth seen in groups of health and beauty (34%), household consumer products (34%), books (27%), computer (4%), furniture and home appliances (2%), while the sales drop are in categories of mobile phone and communications (-27%), sporting, pet and collectibles (-28%), clothes and fashion (-41%) and cars (-44%).