Thailand: Line looks to influencer commerce

Line Thailand is joining hands with Tellscore, a local influencer marketing startup, to embark on influencer commerce, hoping to help brands increase their sales during the economic downturn while attracting influencers to the platform.

“We see the growing trend of influencer marketing playing an important role in buyers’ decisions,” said Nadhakriz Kanchanamantana, head of commercial content and media of Line Thailand.

“We hope to attract influencers to Line, which has a large user base of 46 million and average time spent per day of 63 minutes.”

Line Thailand recently launched Line Idol as a place where artists and online influencers can connect and engage with their fans by becoming chat friends via official accounts (OAs).

Marketers on Line Idol range from macro influencers, with 100,000 followers, to micro influencers with 500 followers.

Influencers can use their personal Line accounts for Line Idol if they already have a certain number of followers on their Line Timeline.

“We will focus on influencer marketing capacity as a way to boost customer awareness,” said Mr Nadhakriz.

In the first phase, influencers can review products through photos or video clips. In the next phase, starting around the fourth quarter, after reviewing products influencers can provide shortlinks of the brands to lead users to purchase. Brands need to have Line OAs and use Line’s MyShop feature.

“With this model, influencers can earn not only review fees, but also commission fees,” he said. “This model also allows brands to measure sales success through influencers.”

Line expects the collaboration with Tellscore to bring more influencers to the platform, said Mr Nadhakriz.

Suvita Charanwong, co-founder and chief executive of Tellscore, said shifting consumer behaviour poses a big challenge for marketers, and platforms and technologies that can enhance performance-based influencer marketing are keys to brand success.

Companies must invest in marketing tools and channels that go beyond raising awareness to seek bigger sales potential, she said.

Under this collaboration, 40,000 influencers in Tellscore’s network will be selected to be part of Line Idol, with an initial target of at least 500, said Ms Suvita.

Influencer commerce grows in line with the online shopping sector, which is expected to reach 200 billion baht in sales this year, up 25% from last year.

She said influencers have become an important part of shoppers’ decision-making in buying products. In 2019, 87% of shoppers watched influencers review products before making a decision, up from 60% in 2018.

Brands that use influencers are food, fast-moving consumer goods and health and beauty.