Thursday, December 12, 2019

Saha embraces new trade model under ecosystem

Jul 18. 2019
Boonsithi Chokwatana, chairman of Saha Group
Boonsithi Chokwatana, chairman of Saha Group
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By Sawitree Rinwong
Krungthep Turakit/The Nation

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Thai conglomerate Saha Group has turned to Big Data in the development an ecosystem to cope with the impact of technology disruption, especially in the merging of online and offline sales.

Group chairman Boonsithi Chokwatana said he aimed to boost the contribution from online sales from 4 per cent currently to about 10 per cent in the next three years. Total annual sales of the group has reached Bt300 billion, 

ICC International, a subsidiary and the manufacturer and distributor of several local and international fashion brands, posted Bt13.37 billion in sales last year. 

The fashion industry has been adversely affected by technology disruption with e-commerce playing a big role in sales and market share, said Surat Wongrattanapassorn, director at ICC International Plc.

"Some of our customers have even become entrepreneurs of the online shopping business, especially in low-cost fashion products from China," he said, adding that ICC needs to make adjustments in view of the competition. 

"Our group chairman Boonsithi said we needed to develop an ecosystem with big data for doing businesses in the future," Surat said.

Surat said ICC had developed three major elements under the ecosystem framework: e logistics system, platform system, and a system for the expansion of offline stores connecting with online channels.

"For the logistics system, ICC is to build a new big warehouse, occupying a total space of about 74,000 square metres, near Suvarabhumi Airport. The warehouse, due for completion by the end of this year, will feature the latest software, Manhattan, for supply chain management," he said.

ICC has also developed a platform system to connect with its clients via the His & Her Card, which has more than 2.7 million holders. Of the total, about 500,000 are active customers with 4-5 purchases a year at an average price of Bt20,000 per transaction. The cardholders have about five million followers on LINE application and about one million on Facebook. Altogether, there are nearly 20 million customers engaged in promotional activities for the group, Surat added. 

He said ICC would be more open in building a relationship with its customers via CRM (Customer Relationship Management) activities in collaboration with its partners, including True Group which has more than 13 million members, Rabbit Rewards (10 million), as well as the loyal customers of Thanulux, another subsidiary of Saha Group.

"We are in negotiations with PTG Energy, the operator of PT gas stations, Max Mart convenience stores, and Pun Thai coffeehouses, for the joint launch of CRM campaigns to boost our marketing strength. We have many products to offer PTG, it is a win-win situation," said Surat.

Surat said the company's ecosystem in regard to offline/online trade facilitates the merger of product launches and promotions which can be transfered online via social network channels, such as LINE. Individual shoppers can buy the company's products online, through Lazada and Shopee, or offline at Lawson 108 stores.

"The building of an ecosystem will raise the company's efficiency in marketing, speed up the working process, share customer base and their earning privileges with all strategic partners," he said.

Surat said ICC had invested about Bt100 million in the ecosystem. Its key objective is utilise Big Data in analysing and understanding consumer behavior and making projection of their demands. Such data will benefit the company in managing its inventory, as well as setting plans for new store openings. It can also anticipate the overall demands for new products. Also, it will be able to conduct one-to-one marketing activities with potential customers, and able to project sales more acculately.

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