By Asina Pornwasin
Amazon is not setting up a company, but creating a dedicated team in Thailand aimed at helping Thai sellers, brand owners and manufacturers to explore online export opportunities and to expand their international business by reaching more than 300 million Amazon global customers.
Bernard Tay, director of Amazon Global Selling Southeast Asia, said that Thailand is the second office in Asean after Singapore that will focus on helping Thai businesses benefit from cross-border commerce via Amazon e-marketplace platforms, with 18 websites, but starting with amazon.com.
“Amazon Global Selling has a regional office in Singapore. Thailand is the first office in Southeast Asia outside Singapore. This shows how much importance we attach to the Thai market,” said Tay.
He said the setting up of a dedicated team in Thailand was because of the Kingdom’s emerging manufacturing base, constant export growth of 7 per cent and the government’s digital transformation policy.
“We have just started a dedicated team. We hope to build more confidence and educate sellers in the beginning,” said Tay.
The team will provide educational support to potential Thai sellers with respect to selling on Amazon on-boarding process including account registration, listing creation, account operation, and Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA). Sellers will benefit from FBA’s bulk shipment, meaning more economies of scale and warehousing, especially for quick shipment. It has partnered with many logistics and transport companies
Revenue models are service fee (monthly fee), commission and FBA service charge.
The company will focus on the first five priority product categories which are high-potential Thai products like toys, apparel, home products, sport and pet products. These five product categories are in high demand from customers in the US while Thailand is strong in these products.
“We are cooperating with some government organisations and other partners to educate Thai sellers. However, there is no policy level cooperation with the government like what Alibaba did with the Thai government,” said Tay.
The global e-commerce trend shows that e-commerce grew 4 times faster than the retail market. In 2018, the e-commerce market grew by 23 per cent while retail market growth was 6 per cent. The cross-border B2C e-commerce market is growing rapidly and is expected to reach 27 and 29 per cent of total global B2C e-commerce in 2019 and 2020 respectively. It increased from 20 per cent in 2018.
On the Amazon platform, sales by small and medium enterprises (SMEs) were only 3 per cent in 1999 but jumped to 58 per cent in 2018. Amazon said it has helped SMEs worldwide do business and around 200,000 SMEs generate more than US$100,000 in sales on Amazon. Over 50 per cent of products available on Amazon are contributed by SMEs.
Amazon Global Selling has 18 websites with businesses from 130 countries selling on AGS. It also has 175 fulfilment centres that can deliver products to customers in 185 countries and regions. Customers now have more choices, with easier access to products from other markets.