Illustrative image (Source: VNA)
HCM City (VNA) – With the number of internet users and online shopping websites in the country skyrocketing, e-commerce is expected to boom this year.

Dau Tu (Vietnam Investment Review) quoted Le Thiet Bao, former director of an online shopping website, as saying that conditions are ripe for the e-commerce industry to develop in Vietnam.

The country has a young population and 58 percent of websites allow online orders, he pointed out.

Its prospects are clear from the fact that 3G technology has developed and the numbers of smartphone and credit card users keep rising.

A report on EuroMonitor, a market research company, said the number of internet users in Vietnam has increased by 153 percent in the last five years with 40 percent of the population using it, a high growth rate for the region.

Meanwhile, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, e-commerce turnover accounts for a mere 3 percent of retail value, meaning it is virtually untapped and has unlimited potential.

A spokesperson for a big online market place, Lazada.vn, told Vietnam Investment Review that the market is likely to expand three-or four-fold this year.

Last year the number of sellers had tripled, and it has nearly 4,000 vendors selling over 400,000 products across 13 categories.

In terms of logistics services supporting e-commerce, Luong Duy Hoi, managing director of giaohangnhanh.vn, which offers shipping services, forecast that this year e-commerce would generate 70-80 million orders.

This is an attractive figure for delivery services like VNPost and ViettelPost.

Analysts said e-commerce on mobile (m-commerce) has developed strongly and continues to do so.

Tran Hai Linh, CEO of Sendo.vn, told ictnews.vn that last year the mobile transactions accounted for 45 percent and is expected to rise to 65 percent this year.

Lazada reported that "mobile is already generating over 60 percent of the company's sales, driven mainly by increasing application penetration."

Another major online shopping platform, Zalora.vn, reported that more than 20 million people in Vietnam use smartphones.

Thanks to cheap 3G services and widespread wifi availability, surfing the net is easy in Vietnam, which has enabled m-commerce to develop rapidly.

Zalora said last year 30 percent of hits was through mobile phones.-VNA