Thailand on fast track to become regional e-Commerce leader

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ETDA conducts market survey on an annual basis with an aim to gather a comprehensive and globally recognized set of e-Commerce statistics for Thailand. This is intended to enable relevant government agencies and private organizations as well as those involved in Thailand’s e-Commerce chain to use it as a reference or for a comparison purpose, and as part of policy making, strategic planning and the setting of guidelines for business operations, both at organizational and national levels, in response to today’s changing market environment. Gaining deeper insights into the e-Commerce industry can help e-Commerce businesses compete in an efficient and sustainable manner, regionally and internationally.

Surangkana Wayuparb, CEO and Executive Director of ETDA, said: “Today, e-Commerce is essential for both existing and new entrepreneurs to survive and thrive amidst slowing economy that relies on traditional marketplace. It appears that more and more new e-Commerce players have come into existence everyday as the country lays a foundation to become a digital economy with the government’s strategic approach to Thailand 4.0. Therefore, e-Commerce is an important mechanism for applying digital technology for further development of economic and social well-being. ETDA believes this 2016 e-commerce statistics is could be valuable largely to Thailand’s overall development of digital economy.

This market survey aims to gather statistics of e-Commerce market value in Thailand in all related aspects that can be respected internationally and used as a reference or for comparison to other countries. With the recent findings, all government and private sectors are enabled to make best use of their policy making, strategic management and business planning at organizational and national levels to keep pace with the rapid changing digital world.

ETDA has engaged 527,324 e-Commerce businesses nationwide in the survey which started in April and finished in September 2016. List of the samples was given by the Thai e-Commerce Association, the Department of Business Development (DBD) and the National Statistical Office. This quantitative and qualitative market survey targets two groups of business entrepreneurs whose business performance was used as the criteria, including a group of business entrepreneurs who have e-commerce market value of more than or equivalent to 50 million baht per year, and another with e-commerce market value less than 50 million baht per year. The first group attended a face-to-face interview while the latter took online survey.


According to the survey, e-commerce players in Thailand can be classified into 8 categories: manufacturing; retail and wholesale; transportation; accommodation service; information and communication; insurance; arts, entertainment and leisure; and other services.

It was found from the survey that net value of e-Commerce in Thailand reached 2,245,147.02 million baht in 2015, which represents 43.47 percent of the total sales of products and services. Of this, B2B e-Commerce sales made up 1,334,809.46 million baht (59.45 percent), followed by B2C 509,998.39 million baht (22.72 percent) and B2G 400,339.17 million baht (17.83 percent). Regarding e-commerce market value in all 8 categories, exclusive of net sales gained through the e-Auction, top three selling industries with the highest e-Commerce market value are as follows:

  • Accommodation services industry, 559,697.54 million baht (30.21 percent);
  • Retail and wholesale industry, 536,725.26 million baht (28.97 percent);
  • Manufacturing industry, 428,736.23 million baht (23.14 percent).

The fourth position went to information and communication industry, which contributed 232,721.36 million baht (12.56 percent), followed by transportation industry (3.46 percent), other services (1.03 percent), and then arts, entertainment and leisure (0.51 percent). Among the eight categories, industry with the smallest e-Commerce value was insurance (0.11 percent).

Based on the recent study of Thailand’s e-commerce activities, 2016 is an impressively fast growing year for e-Commerce with net sales reaching 2,523,994.46 million baht, which represent 40.08 percent of total sales of products and services, a 12.42 percent increase over 2015. The figure is mostly generated by B2B e-Commerce sales that reach 1,381,513.39 million baht (54.74 percent), or 3.50 percent increase over 2015, followed by B2C 729,292.32 million baht (28.89 percent), posting a 43.00 percent growth beyond 2015. B2G e-Commerce sales reach 413,037.84 million baht (16.37 percent), a 3.21 percent rise from 2015. Exclusive of the e-Commerce value generated through e-Auction in 2015, this year’s B2B, B2C and B2G represents 72.05, 27.53 and 0.43 percent of the total e-Commerce value.

Given the overall value of e-Commerce in 2016, without the value generated through e-Auction, top three selling industries with the highest e-Commerce market value are as follows:

  • Retail and wholesale industry, 731,828.33 million baht (34.55 percent);
  • Accommodation service industry, 643,033.15 million baht (30.35 percent);
  • Manufacturing industry, 343,866.80 million baht (16.23 percent).


Information and communication industry ranks fourth in the market, generating a total e-Commerce value of 281,866.93 (13.31 percent), followed by transportation (3.32 percent), other services (1.65 percent), and then art, entertainment and leisure (0.53 percent). Again, industry with the smallest e-Commerce value is insurance (0.08 percent).

When studied in details, without the market value generated through the government’s e-Auction, it is also found that growth of Thailand’s overall e-Commerce market value tends to make a big leap. This makes e-commerce a promising market and worth investing with more and more people become interested in investing, selling and purchasing, especially in the B2C segment. Among the six largest economies in ASEAN including Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Singapore and Indonesia, Thailand is very active and on track to become a regional leader in e-commerce.

From the latest statistics, e-Commerce market in Thailand is on an upward trend, thanks to three significant driving factors including a huge evolution of technology that allows for the ongoing emergence of new communication advancements and innovations, coupled with the government policy that aims to speed up the country’s digital economy with an attempt to encourage and support business entrepreneurs to expand into the e-Commerce territories in ASEAN and the global marketplace. Rapidly evolving financial transactions also play an important part. This factor has a significant effect on driving the economy to a progressive path and a world-class standard: for example, Any ID or Prompt Pay has been introduced, along with the expansion of the use of electronic cards, electronic tax and financial transaction documents, which will generate greater convenience and reduce costs in the business process run by the private, public and government sectors. Once these transactions have been faster, more convenient and more accessible, the country will have an active mechanism to grow and develop further. It also largely benefits domestic entrepreneurs thriving their e-Commerce businesses and consumers alike as they can perform transactions anytime, everywhere, with ease and a higher level of safety.