Biggest Thai online retailer enters PH, plans to invest $55 million


(Source: Manila Bulletin | November 23, 2015)


iTrueMart, Thailand’s leading e-commerce retailer, has launched its first e-commerce site in the country,, and targets to be the dominant local e-commerce player in two years.

In 2016, the online retailer, one of the companies under Bangkok-based Ascend Group, plans to invest over USD$150 million (more than P7 billion) in the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) as part of its regional expansion.

“The investment will be used for e-commerce optimized fulfillment centers, logistic hubs, expansion of our own fleet, marketing, and ramping up assortment and inventory,” announced Ascend Group CEO Punnamas Vichitkulwongsa.

“We are debuting our operations in the Philippines. Vietnam, Indonesia, Myanmar, Cambodia, Malaysia, and Singapore will follow later in 2016. We are committed for long-term success in the Philippines and everywhere else that we go to,” he underscored.

“Competition in the e-commerce sector in the Philippines is still considered low. With the market still in its infancy, there are still plenty of opportunities for new players,” Dean Krstevski, Chief Operating Officer E-Commerce of Ascend Group, reasoned.

“Now that the e-commerce market is being developed, brands are increasingly looking for partners to sell their products online, which we see as a great advantage that will help us speed up our market entry. We are confident of our success in the Philippines because we have a strong team with extensive experience in both online and offline retail.”

They are investing about US$4-5 million in the Philippines this year and easily $50 million in 2016.

The Philippines is iTrueMart’s second destination in AEC, bringing access to a variety of products, various payment channels and competitive pricing currently limited to metropolitan shoppers.

“E-commerce will have huge potential when the AEC fully materializes,” confirmed Ascend Group CEO Punnamas Vichitkulwongsa.

According to a study by Ystats SE Asia eCommerce, the volume of ASEAN’s mobile Internet users rose 56% in 2015. Up to 56% of the Thai and Vietnamese populations are now accessing the Internet via their smartphones, a figure close to the Philippines’ 50% rate.

Recognizing the growing number of mobile-Internet users, the Ascend Group is confident that online shopping in the region will also grow.

Furthermore, “ is not a newcomer to the market as the team is backed by the strong success of iTrueMart in Thailand,” according to iTrueMart General Manager Seubsakul Sakolsattiyathorn.

During the past year, the number of visits to increased 424%.

Since October, 2014, the retailer averaged 4.6 million  visits per month. receives 7,000 orders per day on average, with the highest volume of daily orders at 10,000, the highest record in Thailand’s online retail industry.

Add to that,’s delivery averages at two days throughout Thailand and it enjoys the lowest e-commerce return rate in the country.

Under the slogan “Great Value, Everyday,” works only with authorized distributors of international brands and act as authorized dealer of local brands so customers can be guaranteed that all products on the website are genuine.