Grocery shopping services boom in Vietnam

Grocery shopping services are expected to develop strongly in Vietnam as people want to order food and essential goods without having to leave their homes or offices.

In early December 2015, Cung Mua began providing Green Bag, a grocery shopping service in inner Ho Chi Minh City. This is the first app in Vietnam that allows clients to order vegetables and meat.

More than 10,000 customers have reportedly installed the app and used the service.

Orders will be delivered within one hour with a fee of VND25,000.

According to Ho Quang Khanh, CEO of Cung Mua, the service is now in high demand. Vietnamese are familiar with online shopping, but they still cannot buy fresh food online.

“I hope we will have 200,000 customers in one year,” Khanh said.

Cung Mua acts as the intermediary party which connects customers and clean food & vegetables from well-known retailers such as Big C, Vissan and Cmart. 

Besides the service fee Cung Mua collects from customers, it can also get discounts from suppliers.

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Di Sieu Thi JSC has also begun providing services in Hanoi while planning to provide the services in Ho Chi Minh City this year. 

The shopper now provides a wide range of products thanks to cooperation with many goods suppliers such as TopGreen, Unimart and Hapro.

However, though the demand is high, observers say many service providers have to give up.

A representative of a catering company in Ho Chi Minh City said the company began providing grocery shopping service in mid-2015, but it decided to stop the services after several months.

He said there were too many small orders, while customers lived in many different areas. Therefore, the revenue was not high enough to cover expenses.

FoodPanda Vietnam, which allowed customers to order restaurant meals via smartphone apps, has said it would shut down and dismissed 100 workers after three years of operation.

Khanh, while believing that shopping online via smartphone apps will develop rapidly, said the success of service providers still depended on financial capability, the operation and shoppers’ capacity.

He went on to say that grocery shoppers have to spend big money on building systems and pay workers. Only when service providers can attract hundreds of thousands of customers and can connect many suppliers will they have diverse sources of revenue which can bring profits.


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