Vietnamese firms urged to transform in digital age

The internet and smartphones are having a profound impact on consumers in many areas and offering manufacturers and retailers the opportunity to promote their products while also bringing challenges in understanding new shopping trends and identifying effective methods of communication, a seminar heard in Ho Chi Minh City on July 18.

vietnamese firms urged to transform in digital age hinh 0
Nguyen Phuong Nga, market development director at market research company Kantar Worldpanel Vietnam, told the seminar on business strategies in the digital age that Vietnam has the 14th highest number of internet users in the world with 66 percent of its population online.

“Smart phones and the internet are becoming increasingly popular in Vietnam, including rural areas. This creates a good premise for the development of e-commerce.”

E-commerce sites are investing more and more resources to attract consumers, she added.

Fashion products and transport services are among products with the highest online transactions, while fast moving consumers goods (FMCG) are being increasingly bought, she said.

“The FMCG market is witnessing tremendous growth in online shopping in terms of the number of buyers as well as value.”

Online sales of FMCG products rose by 147 percent last year, while e-commerce revenues grew by 30 percent overall, she said

Linh Phan, lead solution engineer at Salesforce Singapore, said Vietnamese businesses should transform from being product-centric to customer-centric.

Many focus on how to make quality products at cheap prices or on international operations, but do not know who the buyers are or what their feedback about their products is since they distribute their products through distributors and think customer relations are for distributors.

Thus they do not pay much attention on customer engagement, he said.

A survey by his company found 80 percent of customers saying the experience a company provides is as important as its products and services, and 71 percent of shoppers use a mobile device in-store to do at least one educational or research activity, up from 59 percent in 2017.

Therefore, businesses must become customer-centric focusing on the customer experience, customer relationships, maximising customer value in sales, customer engagement, and having their always-on connectivity for their products.

“Customer-centricity means putting the individual demand of every customer at the centre of a company’s philosophy, strategy, culture and operational model.”

Many companies understand that and are taking steps to transform their operations, he said.

Executives from businesses, including Dien Quang Lamp JSC and Mitsubishi Chemical Cleansui Vietnam, spoke about their success in transforming their businesses in the digital age.

Organised by the Vietnamese High Quality Product Business Association and CIO Vietnam, the seminar was part of the “Digitalisation for SMEs” programme.

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