Good prospects for e-commerce in Vietnam

Vietnam has great potential for electronic commerce as it ranks in the world’s top 20 countries for internet users and first in Asia in internet user growth rate with over 30% of its population accessing the worldwide web.

According to Deputy Chief of the Vietnam E-Commerce Association (VECOM)’s Office Tran Van Trong, 2015 was considered an e-commerce boom, with the engagement of domestic groups such as Vingroup with International conglomerates also landed in the new market by joining hands with local companies like Lazada, Lingo, Bizweb and Haravan.

The e-commerce market has become a playground for not only big names but also small and household businesses, including traditional craft villages.

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Illustrative image (Source: VNA)

It was illustrated by 2,500 enterprises participating in an online event called The Online Shopping Day 2015, doubling the previous year’s figure. The eager response of consumers helped create a total transaction value of more than VND500 billion (US$22.7 million), three times higher than that of 2014, during the day.

The domestic e-commerce boasts a range of advantages in telecommunication infrastructure and legal environment, and a large internet user community who are ready to shop online. Despite having more advantages than traditional trading methods, the market has not tapped its full potential due to low customer confidence in online shopping, poor after-sale services and incompetent e-commerce specialists.

This dynamic market requires enterprises to have sufficient resources, long-term plans and new directions which will bring differences to customers, Trong added.

He cited the Vietnam Ecommerce Index 2015 report, which said that many enterprises use websites to provide information on their products while 53% of websites are equipped with an online order function and only 17% had an online payment feature.

No e-commerce business can exist without joining hands with other enterprises in different areas, he noted, describing the online shopping day as a means to boost e-commerce in Vietnam.

Besides benefiting customers by offering quality products with discounted prices, the event serves as a bridge for retailers and support service providers to work together to improve service quality.

Trong emphasised the need to have a master e-commerce development plan for the 2016-2020 period while perfecting the legal framework in the field, especially a mechanism to settle online disputes.

State management agencies and associations should raise public awareness by guiding consumers on how to participate in online shopping, from product searching, payment and personal information protection skills.

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