Boom time for Thailand internet shopping

As consumers become more tech savvy, Thailand internet shopping has boomed.

Online retail sales in Thailand are more than doubling annually, whereas traditional stores are seeing only about 10 per cent growth.

This is attributed to a combination of stronger and faster internet speeds in Thailand plus the success of online merchants such as Lazada, reports Bloomberg.

Thailand mobile-phone company Total Access Communication estimates Thais spend up to six hours a day on social media websites like Facebook and Youtube.

Corporate financial services company Maybank Kim Eng Holdings says Thailand is the only Southeast Asian country that includes an online category for retail sales data.  

While online sales in Southeast Asia have been growing strongly, they still account for less than 4 per cent of overall retail purchases, according to a Maybank report by economists Chua Hak Bin and Lee Ju Ye.

Larger markets, like China and South Korea, already have higher penetration rates of online retailing at 16 and 18 per cent respectively. They say this shows the potential for Southeast Asia, where e-commerce sales could reach 5 to 10 per cent of overall retail purchases over the next five years.

Meanwhile, Alibaba Group Holding founder Jack Ma has joined a government panel in Indonesia that has the task of steering the e-commerce industry in Southeast Asia’s most-populous nation. Macquarie Research estimates online retailing in the country could reach $65 billion by 2020.

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