A woman watches a live streamer selling fresh fruit on a TikTok Shop. — Photo nld.com.vn

Last June, farmers and businesses in the northern Bac Giang province sold a large amount of lychee and many other specialities via live streaming. Since 2021, farmers in this locality used the model to sell batches of lychee to customers nationwide.

Amid the booming live commerce trend on social channels such as TikTok and Facebook, some cooperatives and lychee growers in Bac Giang have organised live streaming events from their gardens, broadcasting the harvesting and packaging process. This has helped them connect with customers and build trust, as well as sell a lot of produce, a representative from the provincial Department of Trade and Industry has said.

To facilitate the consumption of agricultural and speciality products, Bac Giang has cooperated with TikTok to organise a series of activities, including the One Commune One Product (OCOP) events through live streaming. After only four hours, TikTok-savvy merchants sold nearly 50 tonnes of lychee and a variety of local OCOP products, the representative said.

The live-selling model has also become familiar to farmers, cooperatives and agricultural enterprises. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, many farmers across the country have changed their sales methods, integrating live streaming to promote and sell their products on social networks and e-commerce platforms.

Since the Lunar Newyear in 2021, several cooperatives selling dragon fruits with VietGAP and GlobalGAP certifications have been trained in, and tested, live streaming on Facebook to sell products.

In the southern provinces and cities, many cooperatives and household businesses have also used the live streaming model to advertise and sell southern fruits and cakes which generated massive engagement. They said the video medium helped their sales increase compared to selling products online like before.

Besides cooperatives and household businesses, start-ups have also been making good use of the live streaming model to promote their brands, market products and sell goods to consumers at discount prices. Several food businesses have regularly collaborated with TikTokers and KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders) to introduce everything from raw materials, production processes and product trial experiences, Nguoi Lao Dong (The Labourers) Newspaper reported.

To attract customers to buy goods via live streaming events, most businesses and stores reduced prices compared to direct selling at stores or other e-commerce channels. They also allowed customers to return goods and get a refund if they found the goods to be of low quality, according to the newspaper.

Logistics infrastructure needed

Do Quang Huy, an e-commerce expert, said agricultural products are Viet Nam's strength and promoting online sales is a trend that should attract strong investment.

Recently, TikTok Shop, the video platform's e-commerce wing, launched a new feature to sell fresh goods. Previously, sellers could only sell goods preserved for more than 15 days. Now, TikTok Shop can handle items that need to be delivered within three days. This opens up great opportunities for sellers to speed up agricultural product consumption, Huy told the Nguoi Lao Dong (The Labourers) Newspaper.

However, fresh agricultural products require fast delivery. Returned goods might be abandoned because of damage, Huy said, stressing the importance of developing the necessary e-commerce logistics infrastructure.

Luong Quang Thi, Chairman of ABA Cooltrans, a cold chain service provider in HCM City, said to The Labourers that e-commerce logistics remained problematic, especially for low-value goods that need express delivery.

Thi cited fresh fruits as an example. Normally, consumers order between one and five kilos of fresh fruits each time. Due to their locations, the shipping fee was sometimes higher than the cost of goods. Therefore, they often chose to buy fruits via traditional channels rather than buy them online.

Many agricultural products had seasonal characteristics, the chairman noted. So they have to be sold immediately once harvested or their prices will decrease significantly.

He added that it was also necessary to build storage warehouses right at the source. — VNS