According to Electronic Transactions development Agency (ETDA), Thailand e-commerce market has grown by 9.89% to approximately 2.8 trillion THB in 2017. The value of online Business to Consumer (B2C) has grown to 619 billion THB, which increase approximately 37.91% from 2015 and ranks the first in ASEAN in 2016. Additionally, the online shopping became (the survey result released in 2016) one of the five most popular activities among Thai Internet users in 2016, e-commerce has become a potential gateway for Thai SMEs to grow their businesses through electronic channels. Ministry of commerce realized potential of e-commerce market and has been working to set up mechanism that support Thai e-commerce SMEs.
The National E-Commerce Strategy has been developed as the roadmap to foster long term growth of e-commerce market, in line with the goal to transform Thailand to digital economy, according to Thailand 4.0 program. The roadmap has been divided into 4 strategic dimension, deploying 5 year action plan (2017-2021) to double value of Thai e-commerce market to 5 trillion THB by 2021. The draft strategy and action plan of the National E-commerce strategy is now in the consideration stage by the cabinet.
The first strategy aims to enhance capabilities of Thai e-commerce entrepreneurs. Action plan includes the development of new entrepreneurs to access to the e-commerce market, while improving capabilities of existing e-commerce businesses to compete in cross-border e-commerce. In addition, the government also encourages entrepreneurs to add value to their products and services through the use of technology, applying digital marketing through social media and other online platforms achieving customer engagement and satisfaction.
The second dimension aims to strengthen ecosystem for e-commerce and trade facilitation. The government emphasizes the development of secure and seamless e-payment, ensuring that all electronic transactions are safe and convenience on e-commerce platforms. The plan also focus on increasing the ease of doing business process such as e-tax refund, e-receipt and e-invoice. Moreover, the government plans to improve transport and logistics for e-commerce market, encouraging Thai logistics service providers to improve capabilities in online delivery service and building logistics network covering online trade domestically and internationally.
The third strategy focus on the improvement of effective soft-infrastructure, the development of an integrated data centre that pools all necessary information and knowledge related to market transactions, improving digital literacy and skills, ensuring accessibility of funding resources for e-commerce SMEs and issuing laws and regulations relating to cyber-security and e-commerce that compatible with international norm.
The last dimension emphasize trust building for both e-commerce SMEs and consumers, promoting self-regulation to provide standardized services and quality products, and developing consumer protection mechanism against unscrupulous online traders.
According to the Ministry of Commerce, actions plans have been underway, the first Thai e-commerce platform, Thaitrade.com, has been set up since 2012. The website currently has 158,000 members, divided into 20,000 merchants and 130,000 buyers. This year, MOC also plans to form partnership with banks, logistics service providers and global e-commerce firms, creating new market opportunities for Thai merchants. Others measures include improving of digital literacy and skills in cross border e-commerce for Thai merchants and promoting Thaitrade.com to other potential countries such as China, India. It is expected that the achievement of the plans will result in increasing export revenue 5-6% in 2018.