Digital commerce continue to record strong growth in Thailand towards the end of the review period and this can be attributed in no small part to the efforts of industry players to attract consumers, mainly in the remote environment. E-commerce continues to develop at a brisk pace in Thailand as consumers increasingly come to understand the benefits that e-commerce offers, such as lower prices and greater convenience.
Social media usage remains high in Thailand and increases are still being seen in the numbers of subscribers to the country’s leading social media platforms Facebook and LINE. One consequence of this is that strong growth is now being seen in informal digital commerce as Facebook Marketplace and other social media consumer-to-consumer selling platforms appeal to the prevailing consumer attitudes towards shopping and the country’s unique general retailing culture.
Money transfers between banks in Thailand do not attract any fees. This also applies to online transfers of money between accounts in different banks.
During 2018 and 2019, leading e-commerce players Lazada and Shopee consistently launched attractive price discount campaigns. During the run up to Christmas 2018, 24-hour flash sales were hosted by each of these online retailers on 10 October (10/10), 11 November (11/11) and 12 December 12/12).
Proximity payments took off in Thailand towards the end of the review period, although it has so far taken some time for these to enter the mainstream. However, 2019 saw a watershed moment in the development of digital payments in the proximity environment as Shell became the first forecourt retailer in Thailand to announce that it would be accepting proximity payments via QR code.
Thailand’s leading non-grocery specialists are also becoming more interested in the potential for proximity payments to improve the customer experience in their stores and streamline their retailing operations. Uniqlo was one of the first major chained non-grocery specialists to realise the potential for proximity payments to improve their operations.
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