Development of Agricultural E-commerce in Thailand

Apichaya Lilavanichakul

As Thailand continues to move towards digital transformation, the e-commerce for the agriculture sector has gradually emerged. Digital platforms can enable farmers to overcome agricultural problems throughout the value chain from upstream to downstream. Smallholder farmers and SMEs can sell agricultural products directly to e-commerce service providers, retailers, and consumers, leading to increased efficiency of the agri-food supply chain and generating greater revenue, as well as a better connection between buyers and sellers. The B2C and C2C e-commerce platforms are prominent business models for agricultural products. The market value of agricultural e-commerce mainly contributed from small and medium enterprises (SMEs) where social commerce (i.e. Facebook, LINE, and Instagram) and e-marketplace were top preferred market channels. Agricultural e-commerce service providers can be a direct positive influence on driving digital adoption among farmers. The government pushed the shift in the agricultural sector toward digital channel with “Thailand 4.0” policy, and national digital economy and society development plan which provided support on the development of digital platform and digital marketing skills on SMEs and farmers, as well as, improved the digital infrastructure and built the digital network in the rural area. To shift traditional commerce toward e-commerce in agricultural market, building digital ecosystem and entrepreneurship environment, as well as enhancing farmers and SMEs to adopt digital channels are suggested.

Keywords: e-commerce, ecosystem, digital platform, agricultural products, SMEs, Thailand