Vendors selling through social media “infomercials” find success during Covid-19 in Pattaya

Pattaya, Thailand-

The following is the latest in our ongoing series highlighting local business owners and entrepreneurs doing their best to succeed in the challenging Covid19 environment in the Pattaya and Chonburi area.

Pattaya has been devastated by the lack of foreign tourism over the past year due to the Covid-19 pandemic and border control restrictions. A walk around the city will reveal dozens, if not hundreds of closed businesses and shops that once served tourists from around the world. In 2019 Pattaya was the 19th most visited city in the world but has now become a shadow of its former self.

With a recent second round of infections in Thailand, including in Chonburi, this brought another series of business closures and restrictions on an already struggling city. Unlike many Western countries support is limited for both business owners and staff and many have to depend on themselves to survive.

Bombaya Shop has done just that.

Ms. Noppawan Prianphanasak, age 41, also known as Bom, is the on-air host, presenter and owner of the shop which operates on social media channels, mostly Facebook. She stated that in the current environment many business owners could no longer afford to rent a physical shop or store so as a result many have moved online to present infomercials and live shows to sell products.

These presentations can often involve energetic presenters using humor, charisma and engagement with viewers to sell products. The audience is almost entirely Thai Nationals.

Bom told the Pattaya News that not only does the shop sell their own products but they also work with other vendors and independent retailers in the area to present and sell their products as well. Bom says she is very comfortable on camera but many retailers are not and were hesitant to sell online due to this reason. Therefore, she quickly found a niche as a presenter for other people’s products, earning a commision for sales produced. Bombaya Shop also sells their own products.

Bom stated that she goes live on her Facebook page every day at 1:00 PM and often has hundreds of viewers watching at the same time, discussing and commenting about the different products and items. In Thailand, Facebook usage is one of the highest in the world and many people make a living selling only through elaborate “infomercials” and shows on the platform. A look through local Pattaya Facebook shopping groups during peak daytime hours can often show dozens of presenters hosting their own shows to sell products, some with extremely elaborate setups.

Bom, however, is just happy that she and her team who are comprised of videographers, inventory teams and other aids are able to continue to make a living during a difficult time.

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