Following the use of digital marketing in building brand awareness and finding fans via online channels, it is now digital commerce's turn.
Next year will see digital marketing move up to the next level. It will be a true digital commerce era that will create more revenue, according to Uraiporn Cholsirirungskul, CEO of Thomas Idea, the leading interactive agency.
"The digital disruption phenomenon has changed business patterns in ways we have never seen before. This change directly affects many businesses and service providers. Industries and government agencies must prepare to ride this digital wave," she said.
According to Thomas Idea, in-store mobile apps, personalised promotions and mobile advertising are distinctive trends in digital commerce.
A smartphone can enable a purchase with just one click. The more familiar trend is to combine consumers' experiences while shopping in-store with their information searches via smartphones. The 'In-Store-App' is considered a turning point that underlines the necessity for store retailers and marketeers to catch up with the trend. Shop owners will have to struggle to ensure that their stores do no become mere showrooms where people examine goods before buying them online. Consequently, they have to create experiences that are different from those of online stores to attract and keep customers.
Thomas Idea CEO Uraiporn Cholsirirungskul.
Changing consumer behaviour together with more efficient worldwide logistic providers have resulted in the capability to rapidly open online stores.
This helps increase opportunities to reach out to consumers in untapped markets, and reduce financial risk. Business expansion will be facilitated by opening e-stores instead of brick and mortar stores. Online stores will become the biggest branches for many companies.
Personalised promotions can be offered to customers via Apple's Passbook, e-coupons and online-point-collecting. Bill payments can be done effortlessly with mobile payment. These attractive innovations not only accelerate decision-making for each purchase, but also make it easier for marketeers to plan effective promotions.
Uraiporn pointed out that marketeers have been using digital marketing to build brand awareness, and the next step is to leap to social commerce which will enable brands to sell. Social commerce focuses on a people-centric approach rather than a product-centric approach. The new trend in the online sphere is using "curators" as product selectors for true fans, an approach called recommendation marketing.
With more than 10 million users in Thailand, smartphones have opened new marketing channels for businesses. The 3G network is also making new devices popular that marketeers are highly interested in and vying for opportunities to communicate with consumers in this group.
Citing figures from the Department of Export Promotion, Uraiporn said Thailand's exports are valued at around 6 trillion baht, therefore if online commerce can be increased only 5% it would add 30 billion baht. E-commerce was valued at around 75 billion baht in 2011 and is now forecast to hit 1 trillion baht this year.
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