Online home shopping now popular with expats in Thailand

Published:  5 Feb at 6 PM
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Tagged: Thailand
Expats in Thailand are switching to online grocery shopping to avoid the risk of infection by the Wuhan coronavirus as well as the poor air quality.

Until recently, online shopping in Thailand wasn’t a big deal due to the convenience of local fresh markets and small branches of big chains such as 7/11, Tesco Lotus and Big C. Nowadays, air pollution, the ban on plastic bags and the recent Wuhan coronavirus outbreak are causing a good number of shoppers to rely on home delivery via online shopping providers. It’s a new thing for the majority of Thai users, but for expats used to the service in their home countries it’s a welcome service, especially for heavy items.

As well as Tesco Lotus and Big C, online apps such as those offered by Lazada, Line and Grab are changing the shopping habits of millions of residents looking to continue their new stay-at-home lifestyles. The most recent arrival on the home shopping scene is Line Man, a subsidiary of Line now partnering with HappyFresh and its products. Most of the new websites feature scrolling through the aisles to select produce in the same way shoppers walked around their nearest supermarket, and delivery is usually free.

The retailers who’ve initiated the new service seem convinced it’ll run long term, especially as fixing the poor air quality doesn’t seem to be a priority in the capital Bangkok or other large cities such as Chiang Mai. At present, the market share is just three per cent, but it's expected to improve to five per cent over the next two years. For expats, it’s already a boon, according to one provider’s spokesperson, with condo residents, housewives and white collar workers all leveraging home shopping into their lives.
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