Vietnamese top list of most online shoppers in SEA hinh anh 1In the past two years, Vietnam saw an increase in online purchasing of local consumers and businesses. (Photo: courtesy of IDEA)
Hanoi (VNS/VNA) - Vietnam has the highest number of people shopping on e-commerce platforms in the Southeast Asia region with some 49.3 million people, according to the E-commerce White Book 2021 released by the Vietnam E-Commerce and Digital Economy Agency (IDEA).

According to IDEA, the country’s e-commerce market, in 2020, reached 11.8 billion USD. In the past two years, Vietnam has seen positive changes in online purchasing with both consumers and firms moving online. The growth rate of e-commerce retail last year was 18 percent.

Another report from Google, Temasek và Bain & Company announced in the beginning of the year also showed that Vietnam has been one of the most dynamic e-commerce markets in Southeast Asia.

The report also revealed that internet users in Vietnam account for 41 percent of the population, the highest in the region. Up to 94 percent of new users plan to continue to use the digital services they used during social distancing after the pandemic ceases to be an issue.

This could form a firm foundation for the development of e-commerce in the country, the IDEA added.

Statistics from the E-commerce White Book showed that the rate of new internet users shopping online had also increased from 77 percent in 2019 to 88 percent in 2020.

The value of goods purchased online also increased from 229 USD in 2019 to 240 USD in 2020 per person. Business-to-customer (B2C) e-commerce revenue now accounts for 5.5 percent of the country’s total retail sales.

Essential items such as food and household appliances account for an increasing proportion of online sales. The data showed that 53 percent of users shop for food online; 43 percent shop for shoes, clothes, and cosmetics; and 33 percent shop for household appliances.

Specifically, in 2020, 74 percent of people were shopping on websites and e-commerce platforms. Alternatively, online shoppers buying on forums and social networks reached 33 percent. This was a significant increase from the previous year with 52 percent buying on e-commerce channels and 57 percent on social networks in 2019. 

E-commerce platforms continued to see high growth in terms of revenue, users and sellers and sites like Shopee, Lazada, Tiki and Sendo have increased their offering of food and essential goods to meet user demands.

Online e-commerce platform, Lazada, has seen these outcomes first hand. In the second quarter of 2020, they reported the number of people accessing their platform everyday doubled while the number of orders tripled.

In addition, the number of sellers on the platform doubled too and revenue on all products on Lazada has seen growth from the second quarter of last year.

Big brand names have also started to join e-commerce platforms. In the first three months of the year, the number of big brands joining special promotion programmes on Lazada was double that of the same period last year.

However, the IDEA said there are still many challenges for users participating in online shopping.

Up to 44 percent of respondents said they think that price held them back from making a purchase, 42 percent said they were concerned about the quality compared to how they were advertised, and 33 percent said they were concerned about their personal information being disclosed.

In addition, poor shipping, delivery and customer care services were also listed as reasons many consumers were not open to this form of shopping./.