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Facebook: Vietnam to be top SE Asia region for e-commerce growth

A Facebook survey rates Vietnam as a home for digital transformation and forecasts that the market will lead the region in terms of e-commerce growth.


Facebook: Việt Nam sẽ tăng trưởng thương mại điện tử nhanh nhất khu vực

Inside the warehouse of an e-commerce platform in Vietnam. (Photo: Hai Dang)

Facebook and Bain&Company have recently published studies on the booming digital transformation in Southeast Asia. The report says that Vietnam, as the home of digital transformation, is at the forefront of promoting change and seizing opportunities for post-pandemic digital-based development.

Facebook’s survey was conducted with about 16,700 digital consumers and more than 20 senior experts in six Southeast Asian countries, including 3,579 participants in Vietnam.

Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, about 70 million Southeast Asians over the age of 15 have become digital consumers. It is estimated that by the end of 2021, the number of digital consumers in the region will reach 350 million. In Vietnam, 7 out of 10 consumers have digital access and there will be 53 million digital consumers in the country by the end of 2021.

The growth rate of digital consumers drives the region's spending growth up to 80% per year, and the total value of online shopping is expected to double by 2026. Vietnam is expected to be the fastest growing market in Southeast Asia, with total value of e-commerce trade of US$56 billion by 2026, 4.5 times higher than the estimated value of 2021.

The number of categories of goods that Vietnamese consumers shop online has increased by 50% in 2021. The number of online stores yielding revenue has risen by 40%, resulting in 1.5 times increase in total online retail spending across the country compared to 2020.

In Vietnam, spending on online shopping for each product group this year nearly doubled and was nearly three times up for the group of personal care and beauty products.

The survey shows that the way Vietnamese consumers shop has changed dramatically. They now attach importance to online channels over direct shopping channels.

For example, social networks continue to be the number one channel for product and service discovery. The survey shows that 14% choose message boards on social networks and 22% choose videos on social networks as the top channel to learn information.

In the evaluation stage, Vietnamese consumers tend to search for product review content on social networks and e-commerce platforms, with the response rate for each channel reaching 26%.

When it comes to making decisions, e-commerce platforms and social media shopping platforms are the key channels, with market share of 33% and 19%, respectively.

The survey also points out that, for the first time, cash payments significantly decreased from 60% in 2020 to only 42% in 2021 while cashless payments rose, with 82% for e-wallet and 18% for bank transfers.

The number of online platforms that consumers in Southeast Asia make purchases on increased from an average of 5.2 last year to 7.9 this year. In Vietnam, 49% of consumers switched to an e-commerce site within the past three months.

After the pandemic, Vietnamese are expected to maintain up to 72% of their time for regular activities at home instead of going out. Eating and shopping online at home will be maintained regularly, accounting for 84% and 78% of the time, respectively.

Hai Dang

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