Nov 7, 2005

Opportunities to enhance the payment experience in Thailand

Doing market research in Bangkok is not a very hard part of my job. Working face to face with our bank customers to understand their market and suggest specific strategies is always a great pleasure.

The Thai retail market is heavily influenced by French and UK retail groups like Carrefour, Casino and Tesco. At the same time, Thailand has produced homegrown retail themes that are very attractive and could give ideas to retailers in other parts of the world.

Verasu is a good example, offering homewares, appliances, health and personal care products and audio and video equipment. They also have an integrated coffee shop, shown in the picture here. Even more unique is an ice cream shop, bakery and a restaurant, all offering products based on the customer's blood type, a popular Thai philosophy. You will notice in the picture that there is a 20-50% promotion on coffee, bakery and ice cream products, from October 10th to November 13th. Verasu is apparently trying to get customers to try out these sections of their store. They obviously cannot give huge discounts to all customers all year round, but why not offer the 20-50% discount all year round to the store's best customers? The payment terminal can print out a VIP Services Voucher as a credit or debit card receipt promotion when a customer has spent a certain cumulative amount. The customer then shows the voucher to enjoy the discount.

Alternatively, why not recognize a customer who has not been in the store for over 60 days, and offer a one-time coupon for 20-50% off on their next visit, as a way to convert an occasional customer into a more frequent one.

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