Online sales rise rapidly during COVID-19 season

As COVID-19 escalates, Vietnamese consumers favor online shopping. Online sales therefore have risen sharply. 
March 28, 2020 | 08:04
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Nguyen Thi Luong at Gemek apartment building in Hanoi hasn’t gone to traditional markets for more than one month. Luong and her family members only leave home for offices every day and strictly follow the principle of travel restriction to avoid virus infection.

“There is a chat group on Facebook whose members are the residents of the building. We set up a ‘residents’ market’, where members buy/sell goods, from food, drinks to household use appliances,” she explained.

At first, there were very few transactions on the ‘market’. But things have changed since the day the epidemic broke out. One just needs to log in the market, declare the number of apartments, order items and get deliveries at doors.

Luong is not alone. Many urbanites now choose to buy things from home. This is why supermarkets, including VinMart, Tmart and Big C, have seen the number of visitors decreasing sharply these days.

At Big C, the car parking lot is deserted, while some checkout counters have closed because of limited number of customers. The images of long queues at the counters are no longer seen.

Tran Thu Thuy, 28, in Thanh Xuan district, said her group of friends was preparing for a birthday party for one of the group’s members. In previous years, the parties were organized at restaurants. But they have decided to cook and prepare party at home this year because of the fear of coronavirus.

“We don’t go out and eat out these days. Food and essential things for daily use can bought online,” she explained.

Since the number of people like Thuy and Luong is on the rise, experts believe that it is now the right time to develop e-commerce. As the people’s shopping habits have changed, distributors also need to chain their sale modes to satisfy customers’ requirements.

Many e-commerce firms have come up with solutions that help make it more convenient to buy things online.

Lazada Vietnam, for example, has offered the automatic delivery through smart locker, a contactless delivery solution which helps minimize the risks for virus infection.

When buying on Lazada, customers can choose delivery points nearest to them as suggested by Lazada. When ordered goods come to the delivery points, Lazada will send notices to customers' mobile phone numbers, associated with OTP codes.

Customers can open the ‘smart lockers’ with OTP and the four last numerals of phone numbers to get goods. There is no need to meet a delivery person.

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