Villa Market JP Co, the wholly owned operator of the supermarket chain, is taking a digital approach to boost sales growth this year.
The company has announced a partnership with Siam Commercial Bank (SCB) to launch two digital platforms, the VPlus Wallet app and shoponline.villamarket. com, in response to the consumer drift from cash to electronic payments. According to Pisit Poosanakhom, the company’s chief executive, customers can now do cashless shopping via 34 Villa Market branches nationwide.
The website lets shoppers buy goods from Villa Market outlets around the clock and choose to receive the goods through delivery or pick them up at Villa supermarkets, and will be made available this month. Pisit said the company is also developing various digital platforms and expects to provide a complete digital offering within the next two years. He said the moves will enable the company to keep its existing customer base, recruit new customers and reduce cash operations, one of the burdens of business management.
“The change in consumer lifestyles and the market because of digital technology is more violent and faster than changes in past eras,” Pisit said. “But we see this as an opportunity more than a fear. Given our small size, we are much more flexible for the digital transformation.” Villa Market expects sales from the online channel to contribute 5% of the company’s total over the next five years.
Apart from the digital platform, Pisit said the company plans to open four or five new Villa Market stores this year, bringing the total to 38 or 39 by year-end. Each store requires an investment of 30-40 million THB. Villa Market recorded sales of 6 billion baht in 2017, with the figure expected to grow to 6.6 billion baht this year.
Wasin Saiyawan, SCB’s head of corporate banking, touted VPlus Wallet as the first Thai supermarket app enabling clients to top up money and accumulate loyalty points for the redemption of benefits. Clients can also enjoy the convenience of paying for products via credit cards, debit cards or from their account through the SCB Payment Gateway service on the website, he said.
– Bangkok Post