Rakuten TARAD.com’s 2013 E-commerce Trend Forecast: Mobility, Services and Brands to Set Pace

Information Technology Press Releases Wednesday January 2, 2013 13:39
Bangkok--2 Jan--Spark Communications
Online shoppers set to benefit from improved infrastructure, better engagement and more choice

Rakuten TARAD.com predicts an exciting year ahead for e-commerce in 2013 as increasing numbers of Thai people gain Internet access through mobiles devices, online shopping services improve and well-known brands turn to online channels to boost brand awareness and sales.

According to PayPal, Thailand’s e-commerce market is expected to reach almost 15 billion Baht during 2012 while the Department of Business Development predicts a 20-30% increase in e-commerce website registration. Business owners now have good reason to create their own online store, whether it is a complement to their existing business or a completely new venture.

Pawoot Pongvitayapanu, Founder and Managing Director of Rakuten TARAD.com, said: “Most shoppers today now carry a virtual shop in their pocket in the form of a mobile or tablet device. With so much choice only a few clicks away encouraging customer loyalty and nurturing shopping experiences will be essential for online businesses as we move into 2013. At Rakuten TARAD.com we have more than two million members, over 300,000 merchants and more than 200,000 unique visitors per day. As a result of our experience we have noticed particular trends that we consider key to e-commerce development in Thailand during 2013.”

1. From e-catalogue to e-tailer

Many businesses have realized the importance of online channels these days and they have created websites to display their products. However, many of these web pages are merely e-catalogues or product display areas where interested buyers can access more information. Crucially, lack of a purchasing system and an inability to process orders and payments on the same web page can mean businesses risk losing up to 50% of their potential customers. Businesses looking to take full advantage of the trend towards shopping online need to consider turning their existing e-catalogue into a complete online store where products can be sold to anyone, anywhere, anytime. At Rakuten TARAD.com we make it easy for businesses to make this transition, providing the platform and also support through our dedicated E-commerce Consultants (ECCs) who are on hand to provide tips and advice.

2. Growth of mobile commerce

2013 will see a 3G network established countrywide which should lead to the network becoming available at lower rates and extend the reach of the Internet throughout the nation. Mobile gadgets are becoming more advanced and affordable, and this should allow a larger number of Thais convenient access to the Internet and an acceleration of Internet penetration rates in the country. Looking at statistics gathered by Rakuten TARAD.com, we now see that 30% of traffic and 11% of our total sales are generated via our recently upgraded mobile platform. We expect these numbers to continue growing throughout 2013 making mobile commerce a very dynamic trend.

3. Rise of debit card payment

An increasing number of banks have been making debit cards valid for online payment in the past year, opening up more opportunities for consumers to make transactions online. The latest statistics from Bank of Thailand showed that there are 38.7 million debit cards in use against 15.3 million credit cards, indicating a tremendous opportunity for banks to further encourage e-commerce. As a result of increased debit card acceptance we predict that 2013 will see a large amount of first-time online shoppers taking advantage of this new transaction method.

4. Social media as a new sales channel

Social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LINE have gained huge popularity among Thais over the last few years as they are great communication tools with minimal, if any, cost. Employing social media to boost sales is an indispensible strategy for today’s businesses and, when used appropriately targeting the right audience, can yield significant results. With the use of social channels, retailers not only enter into personal dialogue with fans but reach friends of fans too. However, when it comes to driving ROI from loyalty in 2013, engagement will be the buzz word, rather than fan count. Ultimately it’s not the number of fans that makes a difference, but how vocal they are.

5. Fast moving consumer goods go online

Online has, until now, not been the realm of the many consumer facing businesses but that will change in 2013. From relying on branding and traditional marketing activities to attract consumers to various places to buy the product, 2013 will see a lineup of brands turning to online platform as their sales and marketing channels with tailored tactics targeting specific demographics. We have seen how Tao Kae Noi and Cerebos have led the pack with their growing online presence, and many more are likely to follow suit.

“In any retail business, the customer is central to success, and mobile and social uptake provides businesses with the opportunity to engage with consumers on a more personal level. In the year ahead, innovating the ways in which we build brand loyalty in an increasingly multi-channel retail environment will be key, as well as ensuring the platforms we offer are robust and secure. As an industry, we need to build consumer confidence in mobile and social shopping platforms by refining the shopping experience online, engaging consumers with more tailored offers and ensuring payments are secure, smooth, and hassle-free,” said Pawoot.

Media please contact:
Archiraya Wangkiat (Icing)
Spark Communications
Tel: 0-2653-2717-9 Fax: 0-2653-2720
E-mail: icing@spark.co.th

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