Customers shop at a shopping mall in Hanoi on Black Friday November 23, 2018. Photo by VnExpress/Anh Tu
E-commerce giant Lazada combined its Black Friday and Cyber Monday into a four-day promotional event, offering discounts of up to 70%, mostly on cosmetics and fashion items.
New items were discounted by 15%, and the strongest price reductions were offered on low-value items of unpopular brands.
Other e-commerce services claimed to offer bigger discounts, of up to 91% on Tiki and 99% on Shopee, but these were restricted to a particular time frame after which the discounts passed on to other items.
However, such "flash sales" are familiar to online shoppers as daily offerings made by most e-commerce services.
Thus, retailers failed to enthuse customers with the discounts.
Minh Tien, an office worker in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 1, said that he regularly checks flash sale items on these websites. "It’s the same method this time, and I’m in no rush as the event will last three to seven days."
Market observers said another reason that Black Friday online sales in Vietnam failed to catch fire was the Chinese Singles’ Day promotional event held earlier this month and the upcoming Online Friday hosted by the Vietnam E-commerce and Digital Economy Agency (iDEA), under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, on December 7.
But in contrast to the online market, the shopping atmosphere was vibrant at brick-and-mortar stores. People started to queue up at large shopping centers in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City on November 23.
A large fashion store on Ba Trieu street in Hanoi offered a discount on all items for five hours, attracting a large number of customers.
In other stores, customers had to wait for up to two hours to buy household items. Office workers joined the shopping frenzy at lunch time, only to find out they were late because shops stopped letting new customers after 11 a.m.
As of 10 p.m. on November 23, customers were still queuing up at major shopping malls in Hanoi.