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Social media gets splurge season ready

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Social media gets splurge season ready

Pandemic pivots shopping habits

Facebook is among social media giants gearing up for social commerce for the festive shopping season in Thailand. (Bangkok Post photo) Facebook is among social media giants gearing up for social commerce for the festive shopping season in Thailand. (Bangkok Post photo)

Social media giants Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are gearing up for social commerce, a flourishing 61.9-billion-baht segment in Thailand, for the festive shopping season, starting with the 11.11 mega-sales event.

Social commerce accounted for 38% of Thailand’s e-commerce market value of 163 billion baht in 2019, according to price comparison website Priceza.

In Thailand, about 60 million people accessed Facebook each month in the third quarter. Twitter has 12 million users in the country, according to Media Intelligence (MI), a media planning and creative agency.

“We have seen a significant pivot in consumer shopping behaviours and expectations the past few months,” said Chawadee Wongphyat, country manager for business growth at Facebook Thailand.

“While the upcoming season poses a lucrative opportunity for brands, it’s imperative for them to rethink their strategies to engage with their target audience effectively and efficiently.”

Facebook has launched a “Live Shopping” feature for Thai sellers on its platform, which facilitates businesses connecting with their customers. Thailand is the second market to receive the feature after the US.

Sellers can tag products from their Facebook Shop section before going live and the products will be shown at the bottom of the video so people can easily be linked to further information about the product before purchasing.

Facebook Thailand will also host a “Live Shopping day” experience for the 11.11 shopping festival on Nov 11, in partnership with more than 20 brands and businesses.

Citing Facebook IQ’s “Mega Sales & Holiday 2020” study, Ms Chawadee said 71% of people in Thailand indicated they spent significantly more time using devices during the pandemic. Some 65% of Gen X and Baby Boomers said they had spent more time on mobile devices during the pandemic, with 36% now shopping online.

The study surveyed 48,348 people aged 18 and above across 31 markets, including Thailand.

Based on the study, the pandemic affected consumers’ buying habits, with people becoming more price-sensitive and many waiting for sales periods.

The study found 82% of Thai shoppers are looking to reward themselves in the year-end season.

According to the study, consumers value not only affordability, but also a brand’s alignment with their personal values.

Shoppers in Thailand, the study shows, want to see real and authentic content as well as regular updates, including the latest offers from brands. Some 53% of the shoppers said they want to see videos that emphasise family.

Ms Chawadee said Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, has introduced shopping features, including shopping tags, enabling businesses and creators to create tags on their posts.

Users will also see a shopping tab in the app’s navigation bar, which would lead them to brands, she said.

In Thailand, the e-commerce and mobile commerce market combined is valued at US$39.8 billion, according to 2019 JPMorgan Global Payment Trends.

Twitter said it sees shopping conversations increasing across Asean.