Thailand leading Asia’s shift to e-commerce with 58% rise
The number of Thai households shopping online has shot up 58 per cent during the Covid-19 pandemic, which has accelerated the region’s shift to e-commerce. The dramatic rise in households buying online signals a turning point for e-commerce in Asia, says global marketing research firm NielsenIQ.
“We have entered the end of the beginning of e-commerce in Asia and those who rest now will sleep through the most formative time of growth for e-commerce,” said Vaughan Ryan, NielsenIQ’s Consumer Intelligence managing director in Asia.
NielsenIQ warns retailers that as e-commerce transitions to the next phase, there are five challenges that retailers need to face. These are greater fragmentation in retail, redefining of the role of physical stores, divergent realities, increased fight for consumer attention, and the race to last-mile fulfilment.
In Thailand, e-commerce has been historically dominated by the non-food category. But NielsenIQ observed soaring growth in 2020 for the food category. From January to December 2020, it reports that the food category grew by 74 per cent versus 60 per cent growth shown by non-food. The challenge according to NielsenIQ is how retailers and brands can make this momentum sustainable.
To meet that challenge, retailers and brands will have to connect their various channels – online and offline – to provide a seamless shopping experience for customers across all platforms, said Pornvadee Porningmast, NielsenIQ’s Consumer Intelligence head in Thailand. The shift to this “omnichannel” model of e-commerce is now inevitable in Thailand, NielsenIQ said.