Thai e-commerce expected to reach a 10% share of total retail market within 5 years.

E-commerce gurus are positive that within 5 years the e-commerce in Thailand will take a 10% share of the total retail market while JD Central is about to officially launch within a month with plans to strengthen its platform by offering products from famous fashion sites, Looksi and Pomelo.

Jirasak Chirathivat, head of customer strategy JD Central, predicts that five years from now the online retail market in Thailand, which currently represents a mere 3% share of overall retail market, will grow and eventually reach 10%.

Factors that contribute to the growth are consumers’ increasing familiarity with online shopping and competitiveness of sellers and merchants. In the foreseeable future online customers will, through a device called smart speaker, place an order with a voice command. There will be a use of big data personalization for online retail market as well.

JD Central has been soft-launched for 3 months and is set for a full launch in a month. It’s now laying the groundwork for the second logistics center which is nearing completion.  The platform will feature a greater variety of goods and an increasing number of online shops, targeting 25-to-40 age group.

To earn and grow its revenue, the company uses two approaches: E-tailing and e-marketplace through which it collects commission fee from online merchants.

From now on the cut-throat competition in the e-commerce industry isn’t just only about the price but customers’ experience and speed of delivery service. At present JD Central can deliver goods in Bangkok within one day and aspires to achieve the 11:11 delivery standard which JD.com in China maintains, meaning if a customer makes a purchase before 11pm, he will get the item before 11am the next day.

JD Central plans to feature fashion items from Looksi, the fashion-focused site under Central Group, and Pomelo on its platform while working toward expanding marketing cooperation with Tencent (Thailand) to build customer base. In China, JD.com owns some of its shares in Tencent.

David Joe, chief executive of Pomelo in which JD.com has led a US$ 19 million Series B funding, adds that the e-commerce industry in Thailand, compared to other countries, has ample opportunity to grow. Currently e-tailing represents a 3-5% share of overall retail market in Thailand, while in India and China it represents 15% and 30-35% respectively.

In addition, omni-channel strategy will become an integral part of e-tailing, meaning online players will progressively establish their off-line presence. Prominent player like Pomelo has already established its retail shop, currently with 2 store branches, in Bangkok. It also set its sight on opening more branches with a goal of growing to 10 within this year and expanding into a market in Singapore next year.

Arisa Thavee, head of e-commerce operation at Konvy, the leading cosmetics website furthers that there is a fine line between online and offline selling. Shoppers can pick up their items purchased online at a store while they can be browsing in the store and later make a purchase online.

Kawin Prachanukul, co-founder and country head of Singapore-based Shopback (Thailand), adds that rebate sites are growing by leaps and bounds in accordance with the rapid growth of e-commerce.

The company has recently launched the ShopFest campaign to offer customers extra cash back during shopping festival in the final quarter this year, during which key e-marketplaces will introduce their tempting marketing campaigns such as Sept 9 (9:9), Nov 11 (11:11), Single’s Day, Nov 23-Black Friday, Nov 26- Cyber Monday and Dec 12 (12:12) Online Fever.

Shopbacks in 7 APAC countries will kick start the campaign all at once, with more than 1,500 retailers participating of which 150 are Thailand-based. It’s estimated that sales during the festive season will increase by 6-10 times, comparing with last year sales during the same period that rose by 5 times above normal monthly sales.