The new version of Thai.com will be more than a shopping website, offering personal homepage-creation facility for individuals to customise the site's look and feel according to their lifestyle and requirements.
Internet Thailand president and chief executive Trin Tantsertthi said the key feature of the new Thai.com will be to embed the social-networking function and allow electronic micropayments so that users can design and develop their own homepages. The move is in the line with the growing trend in Internet usage of social networking becoming a key attraction for the online community. Thai.com also expects to become one of the most popular social websites in the country.
The new embedded feature in Thai.com will make it different from other website that operate in the same space. With the electronic micropayment feature, Thai.com members can plug in any shopping website into their own homepage and easily make online payments using the service, free of charge.
"The electronic-micropayment service can support the smallest amount of payment, starting Bt1 onward. However, the actual amount and terms of payment depend on the specific shopping websites. But, the key point is that our technology can support small amounts," Trin said.
Electronic-micropayment services are designed to support all type of payments modes, such as debit cards, credit cards and bank accounts. It also supports the payment through different types of devices, including computers and cellphones.
"Thai.com will help its members gain access to information about an even greater number of shopping malls and banks. Thai.com will be more than an e-commerce website. But it will grow to become a social website, where members can present their own online lifestyle using their own content," Trin said.
Apart from relaunching Thai.com, the company plans to rework its business direction beyond solely focusing on being a business-solution provider and widen its focus to small-and-medium businesses with a new, wider range of Internet-related applications, such as electronic micropayment and Web clusters. The services will be available by the second half of the year.
"We will not limit ourselves to the market segment where we have already achieved success. The Internet business is expanding right now to include general users and small-size businesses, especially in the retail segment. For us, these new market segments and opportunities for growth," Trin said.
However, he said that he could not reveal the company's revenue target for this year, though Internet Thailand does expect revenues to increase. Last year, it posted a revenue of Bt770 million, lower than the previous year's Bt899 million.