Online shopping on the rise in HCM City

The e-commerce market in Ho Chi Minh City has developed significantly, with total online spending growth up by more than 12% annually since 2015, according to the municipal Department of Industry and Trade’s report on e-commerce development.

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Pham Thanh Kien, the department’s director, said enterprises in the city had enhanced digital transformation and promoted online sales.

E-commerce platforms have become important sales channels for businesses.

The survey found that about five percent of enterprises in the city sold their products on e-commerce platforms, an increase of 0.4% compared to the preceding year.

In the first quarter of the year, due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of orders for healthcare products, food and essential products on four e-commerce platforms, Tiki, Sendo, Shopee and Lazada, went up by 70-80% on average over the same period last year.

Orders for face masks and hand sanitisers increased by 140% over the same period last year, but the number of orders for fashion, technology and electronic products decreased by more than 50%.

In the first quarter, total traffic and sales of e-commerce platforms decreased by about 9 – 10% over the same period. Only Shopee reported an increase in traffic thanks to its promotions such as gifting vouchers and offering free ship.

The city’s residents also increased their spending on online shopping, with total online shopping value in 2019 reaching VND5.62 million (US$240) per household on average, up 13.2% over 2018.

Online shopping methods of consumers have also changed greatly.

The proportion of people shopping via websites decreased by 15% last year compared to 2018, accounting for 21%, and shopping via apps dropped, accounting for 24.2%.

The proportion of shopping done through forums, social networks and e-commerce platforms continued to rise, according to the survey.

The number of people using television shopping channels was much lower than shopping via YouTube or live streaming on Facebook.

Businesses use TV shopping channels mainly to introduce and advertise their products and as a tool to support sales on websites, apps or social media.

Regarding payment methods, cash was still the most preferred payment mode for e-commerce purchases in the city last year, accounting for 95.1%, a year-on-year increase of 2.3%. Buyers still do not trust sellers, so they are reluctant to pay in advance.

Payment via bank accounts reached only 17.9%, down 7% compared to 2018, and payment via credit cards was only 12.9%, down 3.8% compared to 2018, according to the survey.


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