How enterprising Thais are cashing in on Facebook Live

Shopping mall in downtown Bangkok or even market in rural Thailand, could be on the brink of being reshaped by Facebook Live, the feature introduced by the social network platform provider Facebook in 2016. Facebook Live allows its users to broadcast and interact with viewers in real time.

According to a study by WeAreSocial 2019, Facebook is ranked the first in terms of monthly traffic in Thailand. It is also listed as the most widely used social media platform in the country.  Of Thailand’s 48 million Facebook users, 32 million of them use the platform daily

In Thailand, small vendors are increasingly using Facebook Live as a sales channel, which ranges from selling clothes, shoes, bag, cosmetics, silk, dried seafood or even gold jewelry. This is a phenomenon that goes well beyond Bangkok and further underscores how rural populations can be empower by mobile technology.

A story of a millionaire made from Facebook Live

Recently, a news report featured a dried seafood seller who made a fortune from using Facebook Live – Ha Sun. He, 29, earns more than one million baht in revenue nightly from using Facebook Live as a communication tools and sales channel.

He goes live on Facebook nightly via his Facebook Fan page at 9 pm, which regularly has around 100,000 to 400,000 views per live thanks to his unique style of presentation that lets people feel more engaged and accessible.

His goods range from dried shrimp, dried fish, crispy squid to shrimp paste are gathered from 30 households in his community in Satun province in southern Thailand.

Currently, he has seven members for his Facebook admin team and 45 persons for backup operation – packing, delivery and product supply.

The key factor of his success is “storytelling”. He presents the product with its story – how it is produced, where it is supplied and how to cook it.

At dtac, we realize the goal of connecting the unconnected. dtac established dtac Net Arsa program, the initiative offering a free training courses on how to fully tap the untapped opportunities of internet, which includes accelerating sales through social media.

Mah Kai Muk, a grilled squid merchant based in Chanthaburi province, is one of a successful street vendor under dtac Net Arsa program. He was trained to use social media to promote his products via video clip. His promo clip drew more than one million views in a month, resulting in wider group of awareness and increasing sales.

Apart from this, Thai online vendors are even more creatively with a variety of selling strategies on Facebook Live. Some of them host an auction in real time. Some showcased products and answer questions in real time. And a lot of them attract viewers with games, prizes with Q&A sessions.

Livestream shopping: the evolution of e-commerce

Facebook predicts that more than half of connected world will be making purchases online by 2020. Mobile is estimated to make up a considerable amount of retail e-commerce. In addition, over 75% of the world’s mobile data traffic will be generated by video consumption.

Late last year, there has been a news report saying Facebook is intensifying the development of e-commerce platform by testing a Live video feature for merchants that lets them demo and describe their items for viewers. Customers can screenshot the items they want to buy and use Messenger to send it to the seller, who can then request a payment right through the chat app.

On the one hand, Lazada Thailand, the e-commerce arm of Alibaba in Asean, has launched a new feature called Lazada Livestream, which was jointly developed by Lazada, AliCloud and Taobao. It offers an end-to-end customer journey process, providing higher responsive interaction with low latency and high concurrency rates, which can support more than 100,000 viewers at a time. It also enhances messaging management while doing Live.

Lazada Livestream drew more than two million viewers, 1.2 million likes within one hour and 50 times sales generation.

Over the past three years, the value of e-commerce in southeast Asia grew by 62% thanks to better shopping experiences. While Thailand’s e-commerce is considered one of the top gainer in the region, up 14% in 2018 with 3.2 trillion baht in value. The Electronic Transactions Development Agency (ETDA) expects Thailand’s e-commerce will hit 20% this year.