Alibaba is a big ecommerce player in Asia, China in particular, and indeed across the world. And a recent deal with the government in Thailand will further cement its dominant market position there.
By far the most popular business to consumer marketplace in Thailand is Lazada. And Alibaba owns a controlling stake in that business. And the agreement with the government will further enhance is towering performance in Thailand.
The deal means that Lazada will provide practical ecommerce training to 30k Thai SMEs. And Alibaba will also be sharing expertise with Thailand Post, the national delivery provider, by giving insights on shipping and logistics.
Thailand is an interesting market because the ecommerce landscape is relatively unsophisticated. It’s estimated that less than 50% of Thai people use the internet and ecommerce represents just 1.5% of the nation’s retail sales. But the potential for growth is huge. Projections suggest that ecommerce will grow 15% in 2017 and that pace will likely grow. In Alibaba’s favour is the fact that other players, such as Rakuten, have stopped investing in Thailand.
The question, to a great extent, is how European sellers can plug into this great potential growth. But don’t worry, we’ll be looking at that with a keen focus in 2017.