Together with the ecommerce wave in Southeast Asia, DeeDeeCashBack (dee dee = very good in Thai), a Thailand ecommerce startup was started by a group of Internet veteran from UK and Thailand. The startup is also advised by K.Pawoot founder of Tarad.com one of the leading marketplaces, and one of the members of TechGrind Thailand Incubator. There are several ecommerce cashback startups in SEA such as Dealcha (Thailand), ShopBack (Singapore), Snapcart (Indonesia). So this is probably an adaptable model to the region. Let’s have a chat with Anthony Quinn, cofounder/CEO of the cashback startup to learn more about his insight.
Till date, the Thailand ecommerce online shopping site has managed to get some tractions shared by Anthony
- Over 130k members
- Members spend approx 1,600 per order and on average use our platform 2 times per month
- We’ve seen some fantastic growth recently with over 100% average increase in GMV over the last 6 months.
Why Thailand & Thailand eCommerce?
A couple of main reasons really. Firstly, I had been working in London for the past 8 years and gained some great experience working at Rakuten Marketing on the client services side of the business. This allowed me to work closely with both advertisers and the publishers who were responsible for driving traffic and sales for the advertisers. However, the time felt right for me to make a big change, and not only to seek a role with another company but to actually think about starting something myself. This leads on to me second reason which is that I have a strong entrepreneurial streak in me. Ever since I was young I’ve always been looking at ways to set things up to make some extra cash. One example was getting into club promotions which I did for a year whilst at university and most recently set up a Thai Spa in London where I doubled my investment within 12 months.
More about Why Thailand: Paul Srivorakul Southeast Asia online tycoon on How to build a regional startup from Thailand…
What are your difficulties and advantages as a foreign entrepreneur in Thailand & Thailand ecommerce market?
In terms of difficulties, I guess the main one is language. My business currently targets Thai consumers, so running a business here where Thai language is in most aspects is something that has to be managed. Plus, the cultural differences – and what I mean specifically is shopping behavior and how to market effectively to an audience that has pretty significant differences in shopping habits.
When it comes to advantages, I guess it’s the experience from working in a western environment. It means we can move fast by knowing what needs to be done. There are many examples of how foreign entrepreneurs have entered the market here and been able to set up and grow a business successfully.
Thailand is moving at a great pace when it comes to becoming a leading nation in supporting entrepreneurs, and couple that with bringing on board the experience from foreigners can only help to move even faster.
How did you come up with the idea of DeeDeeCashback? How did customers know your site?
When I came over to Thailand in the middle of 2015, I did some market research into Thailand ecommerce and performance (affiliate) marketing in general for SEA to see what was what. It became clear that there were a couple of gaps, or opportunities, certainly in Thailand; one was that there was no really decent voucher coupon sites and there was no cashback sites at all. So that was it, I got cracking straight away and within 3 months had an MVP to launch as the first cashback site in Thailand!
We focus a lot of our marketing via social media as it’s a great place to engage with Thai shoppers and is a very measurable and cost-effective channel to use as a growing startup.
There has been a lot of work for us to explain how the cashback model works – although the term cashback is familiar to Thai shoppers in sectors such as finance and property, online cashback via a site like ours was new.
So a significant amount of effort is put into this education piece.
Why should customers use DeeDeeCashback instead of other providers or go directly to the partners’ sites of DeeDee Cashback?
We have nearly 250 stores (and launched with over 150 stores back in 2015) so our site gives you the widest range of stores to save money when shopping online compared to any other site. We also scout for coupons and offers so that we can show our members any additional savings they can make on top of the cashback offers. And actually, that is a strong reason why members choose to go via us rather than direct to the partner sites; they are getting additional value on their purchase which is usually on top of any discounts/loyalty points that our partners offer on their sites.
What is the user flow of DeeDeeCashBack? How do they pay and get cash back?
What is great about this model is that it is a win-win for all stakeholders. The process is like this: a member comes on to the site and signs up. They decide where they want to shop and click through to the store and shop as normal. Within 48 hours the order appears in their account as pending. Once we receive confirmation that the order is approved we are paid a commission on that sale and then pass most of that to the member as cashback. We can pay them direct into their bank account or via PayPal.
What are the popular categories now? What are the popular price range of products on DeeDee Cashback?
We are finding that 3 main categories seem to be most popular right now – that is Travel, Electronics and Grocery shopping.
There is a difference in the range as Travel tends to be higher – we see an average order size of around 2,500 THB.
You’re launching the new site, so what are the new features and services?
Yes that is correct. We are in a testing period for a whole new platform that has been built from scratch to enable us to scale much more easily and add features with ease. Cashback sites are a great step in a customer’s shopping journey but tend to be visited at the end of that journey. The shopper tends to know what they want to buy and where they want to shop. Our new site aims to capture shoppers much earlier on by providing them with much more information to allow them to make a decision without having to visit a number of other sites, thus saving them time. We also want them to be active as a community on the site so will be adding incentives and initiatives to allow us to reward our members even more than just cashback. Plus, we have some awesome plans in store for maximizing O2O so watch this space!
Any insight about mobile shopping on DeeDeeCashback? Ratio of web/mobile users?
Now this was something that was definitely different in terms of usage behavior compared to the UK! It is definitely a mobile first nation and that was something that I had to learn quickly when I launched the site as at first it wasn’t as mobile friendly as it should have been. A lot of changes were needed. If you just take Bangkok which is where a significant number of our members are based, mobile penetration is at 91% with 70% of that smartphone.
For us, over 80% of our traffic comes through mobile devices so this highlights the importance for us to focus our business around making sure we cater for that usage behavior.
Do you see any trend in online shopping in Thailand eCommerce?
Well, it’s an exciting time for Thailand ecommerce right now, with overall e-commerce expected to grow between 16-20% depending on which report you read, and with some saying that the average annual spend per shopper will double within 5 years.
That is huge potential on its own but another key factor driving this is that only 3% of the population here shops online, which will grow no doubt as confidence and awareness increases.
We really want to be a key part of this growth drive, by educating shoppers the added value and convenience they can experience when shopping online (through us of course!).
Augmented Reality (AR) is also in an interesting phase especially when related to the commerce space – it’s something that I am definitely keeping my eye on. If you think about how popular Pokémon Go was here and which pushed AR into the public eye, it is something I think can be applied successfully into this arena.
See more at: Top 12 Thailand online shopping ecommerce websites
Whats DeeDeeCashBack plan for the next 12 months?
Right now, we are focusing on securing additional investment which we hope to complete in the coming months (if anyone would like to talk more about this, please feel free to reach out).
We have 2 clear objectives: to grow our strong team further so that we can realise our vision of building the best shopping portal which will add value for both members and advertisers.The other is simple: member acquisition. Through the development of our MVP, DeeDeeCashback, we have seen that once members join us and see the benefits of shopping via us, they keep coming back – I mean why not right? As a shopper you are getting paid to shop!
What are your favorite books for startups and life, also your life motto?
Masters of Scale with Reid Hoffman: Great series that includes interviews with some of the most high profile entrepreneurs such as Reed Hastings (Netflix), Brian Chesky (AirBnB), Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook).
- Brewed In Bangkok: More lifestyle orientated but a great source of information that occasionally includes some interviews with people running businesses here in Thailand.