BANGKOK (Reuters) – Thailand’s luxury and car brands are switching to start selling products using the Japanese chat app Line due to COVID-19, according to a senior executive, to benefit from the country’s growing demand for social commerce.
Brands like Louis Vuitton, Channel and Volvo created their official accounts on the Line app that outperforms Facebook’s WhatsApp and Viber Rakuten in Thailand, in order to communicate with the users during the quarantine period during the Corona pandemic.
“The luxury brands have had to adapt due to the stores shut down” Norasit Sitivechvichit, chief commercial officer of Line Thailand, informed Reuters.
The Thailand government also imposed a curfew and forced shopping malls to close for nearly two months to contain the infection earlier this year.
“During the pandemic, sellers became more active than before” Norasit said. He also added, “other sellers start selling cosmetics and consumer goods that are easy to ship and deliver to the customer”.
Line charges business accounts to send messages and go live in broadcasts. The company said that its monthly active users in Thailand grew from 44 million to 47 million this year, its second largest market after Japan.
Jean-David HAREL, Thailand’s head of marketing and digitization, said “Volvo had successfully sold cars using the line app after its launch in May and studied customers data“.
He also said “We now have the idea of what models the customers own today, and what their interests are as well as when they plan to change their current vehicle“.
Social commerce is frequently used in Thailand. It is an ordinary habit for merchants to sell directly to customers using social media such as Line, Instagram and Facebook.
Line released a feature last year for merchants to organize their inventory, which now have more than 50,000 users. However, another feature to support customer relationship and data management is due to be launched next year.
The e-commerce platform, JD Central is intending also to launch services for sellers. Norasit indicated that Line is preparing to launch the “MyRestaurant” application, with an application for food delivery and another app to support restaurants. The company also has video-on-demand products.