(source: Thailand Investment Review, November 2015)
The dotcom industry in Thailand is currently experiencing unprecedented growth. In this issue, successful e-commerce entrepreneur, Mr. Pawoot Pongvitayapanu, shares his vast expertise on this emerging market. The president of the Thai E-commerce Association expressed his confidence in Thailand’s e-commerce progress and elaborated on the key drivers spurring this exceptional growth.
Thailand’s e-commerce business is expected to reach 59 billion USD this year alone, greatly exceeding figures reached in previous years. Some of the key drivers of Thailand’s e-commerce growth include a rapidly expanding Thai population coming online, a higher adoption of smartphones and the development of e-commerce infrastructures. The use of smartphones as shopping devices is a relatively new trend in Thailand (m-commerce) and the availability of affordable devices has led to a higher number of internet users which has in turn facilitated online trading. Members of the older generation are turning to the internet too, increasing the overall number of Thai internet users.
Mr. Pongvitayapanu also shared his thoughts on Thailand’s infrastructure development and the various business opportunities in the e-commerce industry. The development of e-commerce infrastructure has greatly contributed towards expanding the industry. Thailand saw a rapid growth in broadband users after the introduction of third-generation (3G) wireless broadband and their numbers are only expected to increase with the introduction of fourth-generation (4G) wireless broadband.
Additionally, the emergence of new logistics providers in Thailand and the greater variety of electronic payment (e-payment) options not only facilitates the buying process but also enables consumers to shop online more conveniently. Mr. Pongvitayapanu also highlighted the presence of large business gaps in e-commerce infrastructure that include logistics and fulfillment services, such as storage and delivery services. These gaps have to be filled to help the e-commerce industry become more robust.