A screen shot of an e-commerce website (Source:VNA)
HCM City (VNA) - E-commerce websites saw turnover increase by 45 percent last year and investment go up by 30 percent.

In the first 10 months – figures are available only for that period – the sales reported by 839 e-commerce websites were around 11.6 trillion VND (520 million USD) compared with 8.1 trillion VND in the same period in 2014.

A recent survey of 105 websites by the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s e-commerce and information technology department found that 89 percent of those portals sell products and the rest, services.

Most of them are based in HCM City (44 percent) or Hanoi (40 percent), with 97 percent belonging to companies. Two percent are foreign-owned and one percent, State-owned.

Thirteen percent do business both in the international and domestic markets, eight percent focus on a single province and three percent focus completely on foreign markets.

Around 62 percent are on social networks, with Facebook alone accounting for 70 percent.

Computers, smart phones, electronic and digital products and office equipment are the most popular items bought online, accounting for 23 percent.

Fashion products and accessories also account for 23 percent.

They are followed by real estate (12 percent), household appliances (10 percent) and accommodation and tourism (8 percent).

Some of the most popular websites are pico.vn, lazada.vn, thegioididong.com, esale.zing.vn, fptshop.com.vn, nguyenkim.com, hc.com.vn, and dienmaycholon.vn.

Seventy six percent of websites said customers come back for a second time. Over half the websites that took part in the survey said their major source of revenue is advertising while 23 percent collect fees on orders and 12 – 18 percent collect other fees like membership.

Despite the strong growth last year, e-commerce websites face operational challenges. For instance, around 31 percent of them suffer from a lack of quality human resources, not surprising considering there are around 200,000 websites and they each need at least one IT expert to manage them.

According to vietnamworks.com, demand for internet/online media professionals has surged in recent years.

Additionally, 25 percent of websites believe that customers who do not trust the quality of products sold online or who worry about paying online would hinder the industry’s development, while 22 percent believe shipping costs are still too high and 20 percent complain about unhealthy competition among e-commerce websites.-VNA