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South China Morning Post: Vietnam is a promising market for e-commerce

Rosy Huong Rosy Huong

huongthhd@gmail.com

June 03, 2021 | 06:08

With a developing economy and a population of over 97 million in 2020, Vietnam is a promising market for e-commerce.

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South China Morning Post: Vietnam is a promising market for e-commerce
During Covid-19, e-commerce further surges in Vietnam. Photo: VNA

With a developing economy and a population of over 97 million in 2020, Vietnam is a promising market for e-commerce and that promise has only grown over the last year despite – or even in part as a result of – the coronavirus pandemic, South China Morning Post said on June 1.

The article cited a January 2021 report by the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Department of E-commerce and Digital Economy as saying that 53% of the population has already took part in online retail.

Meanwhile, the “E-conomy SEA 2020” report from Google, Temasek and Bain & Company pointed out that e-commerce in Vietnam grew 46% year on year, alongside strong growth across most sectors except for travel. Looking towards 2025, they suggest the economy will reach US$52 billion in value, ranking third in Southeast Asia.

The fast-growing middle class is the sector driving increasing expenditure, with its number reaching 33 million in 2020, up from 12 million in 2012. As the middle class expands, there’s also a growing interest in top luxury brands, the article said.

Social networks - popular channel for shopping for luxury brands

A handbag from the Gucci x Ken Scoot collaboration. Photo: Gucci
A handbag from the Gucci x Ken Scoot collaboration. Photo: Gucci via South China Morning Post

According to the article, Vietnamese spend about seven hours per day on average on the internet, mostly on Facebook and YouTube but also on Zalo (a local chat app) and Instagram.

Facebook was by far the preferred platform for e-commerce, chosen by 89% of respondents to a 2019 survey by Asia Plus Inc. And with over 66.7 million Facebook users in 2020, Vietnam ranks seventh in the world, as reported by worldpopulationreview.com.

This all suggests Vietnam can be a gold mine for individual small sellers with private online shops. Fashion and beauty are the two most common searches and purchases online too, accounting for 55% and 30% respectively, according to the Asia Plus survey.

A person shops online. Photo by Shutterstock.
A person shops online. Photo: Shutterstock.

During Covid-19, e-commerce further surged, the article said, citing a report conducted by iPrice Group and App Annie that showed that the total number of visits to online shopping applications in Vietnam in the second quarter of 2020 reached 12.7 billion, the highest ever, and up 43% compared to the first quarter. In the first six months of 2020, the average spending on online shopping of Vietnamese people increased by 31% compared to the same period in 2019.

Experts forecast that online businesses will grow 29% during the 2021-2025 period, and Vietnam’s digital economy is expected to reach $52 billion by 2025, VietnamPlus said.

Figures from Vietnam E-Commerce Association (VECOM) show that Vietnam’s e-commerce market increased 16% last year to over $14 billion. Of this, online retail grew 46%, ride-hailing and food delivery 34%, and online marketing and games 18%. Online tourism, meanwhile, fell 28%./.

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Rosy Huong