Mai Duong, 27, an officer in Hanoi who earns US$1,000 a month, is a middle-income earner in Vietnam. However, selling goods via Facebook brings her additional income 2-3 times higher.
|There are millions of people selling products via social networks
Duong specializes in selling high-quality foreign products to high income earners. “I can make a profit of VND30,000-VND50,000 for each product. And I can sell thousands of products a month,” she said.
Hoang Linh, manager of a fashion shop in Hanoi, also said that income from online sale – her extra job – is higher than the monthly pay she gets as a manager.
“There are numerous online sellers. But the market has a lot of potential,” she said.
Duong and Linh are big rivals to e-commerce websites and hold a considerable retail market share.
Nikkei News in a recent article commented that giants in e-commerce such as Amazon and Alibaba should beware of the millions of Vietnamese who sell and buy products via Facebook.
Some people who sell products via social networks can earn up to US$10,000 a month, and the trade has been developing so rapidly that the government is considering taxing the transactions.
Vietnam’s e-commerce market is growing by 25%, and high growth will continue in 2018-2020. It is expected to have a value of US$10 billion in the next four years.
Foreign investment funds and companies have continued to pour money into e-commerce firms.
An analyst in digital marketing said that it won’t be easy for Amazon to conquer the Vietnamese market.
“Individual online sellers are a better choice for many Vietnamese who want to make payments in cash,” he said, adding that payment via banks represents only 10% of total transactions in Vietnam.
“Besides, the biggest advantage of the retail model is the low cost,” he said. “Sellers can avoid tax, and unlike e-commerce firms, they don’t have to pay a lot of staff.”
Pham Thai Binh from Savills HCM City also said that though the business scale of individual online sellers is modest, the high number of such sellers will generate competitive power.
State officials have also tried to calm down Vietnamese e-commerce firms amid warnings that Amazon and Alibaba would dislodge them from the home market.
Tran Thanh Hai, a senior official of the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT), said Amazon and Alibaba will not target market segments that Vietnamese firms target.