The global economy was hit hard by the pandemic. Thai businesses from top to bottom, especially tourism and retail commerce, suffer from the loss of revenue and customer base. Back when we were in quarantine, eCommerce had become mainstream for Thai. Social shopping platforms such as Shopee, Lazada, JD Central, and Alibaba have taken the center stage. Many traditional retailers had to adopt the idea to continue their business.
For newcomers, here are what to look out for after the viral outbreak.
Changing Customer Behavior
Since lockdown policies were in place in all of Asia and all over the globe, users have been spending more time on social media platform. The numbers impacting the eCommerce and social commerce landscape significantly increased on a global scale.
According to insights by Hootsuite in April 2020, 74% of users aged 16 to 64 report having purchased a product on the web. Thailand ranked #9 worldwide in eCommerce’s share of total sales transactions at 10%. During the COVID-19 outbreak, an average of 47% of the global sample spends more time shopping online in recent weeks.
As the virus hit Thailand, Southeast Asian eCommerce giant Lazada recorded a 100% growth in sales in Thailand from mid-March to mid-April, according to Bangkok Post. Users are spending 11% more time browsing shopping websites per visit than before the lockdown. Lazada Thailand expects eCommerce to become a norm in the new normal.
Long story short, we can expect more people to shop online regularly even after the pandemic.
Shopping Sectors Impacted by the Virus
Earlier in Pre-COVID-19 2020, the most popular online shopping category in Thailand was travel & accommodation, amounting to $6.12 Billion in 2019. The fastest-growing sector was food & personal care at +22%.
With travel restrictions enacted worldwide, tourism suffered a 92% shrinkage in eCommerce transactions. Instead, home furnishings & DIY flourished at +120%. As Thai customers place their health and hygiene as the top priority, the demand for hand sanitizers rose by +8,000% as people stocked up on these products.
Hootsuite also reported a significant increase in global eCommerce interests for food & groceries, household essentials, and personal care products. Supermarket website traffic doubled during the lockdown compared to the first 6 weeks of 2020.
It would be intriguing to see how the purchasing trends and platform evolve in a post-pandemic world when things start to get back up.
As digital payment technology keeps developing, Thai shoppers are adopting a cashless life. Only 12% of internet shopping was paid in cash. The Mobile Point-of-sale (POS) or QR Code Payments segment is expected to show a transaction value growth of 23.0% in 2021, as shown in data collected by Statista.
This might affect both online platform and traditional retail alike. Marketers need to make digital payment for their services easy for customers.
What’s Next for Marketers?
As Southeast Asian eCommerce giant Lazada predicted, online shopping is becoming more significant than it already is. People will shop online not just because of certain things that need to be ordered on the internet, but because they can buy stuff with their fingertips. Marketers need to adjust their strategies to catch up with the changing eCommerce landscape and facilitate customers who are widely adopting digital payment technology into their everyday life. The New Normal is just the beginning of a whole new world that everyone needs to live in, and the outlook is yet to be seen. Keep yourselves prepared.
Need Help Planning Thailand eCommerce strategies for the New Normal?
Does your brand need marketing help to withstand the eCommerce tides? Our team at Sphere Agency is here to help you design the most effective platform and more. Contact us today.