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Lazada tops Vietnam E-commerce League as Online Sales Growth Soars

Vietnam vies with Malaysia for top spot in Asia-Pacific online sales growth in last quarter of 2014 says new survey.

Photo: Lazada: Vietnam’s favourite shopping site.
Lazada: Vietnam's favourite shopping site.
Photo: Lazada: Vietnam’s favourite shopping site.
Lazada: Vietnam's favourite shopping site.

Online shopping in Vietnam has undergone a major surge in recent months, with the country now having the second fastest e-commerce growth rate in the Asia-Pacific region. In a survey conducted by MasterCard, the country was only behind Malaysia in terms of its rate of uptake.

Overall, the percentage of Vietnamese who shopped online from October to December last year grew from 68.4% to 80.2%. This 11.8% rise saw it only narrowly beaten by near-neighbour Malaysia (up 14.4% from 70 to 84.4%).

The research was conducted in 14 Asia-Pacific and 11 Middle East and Africa markets and surveyed a minimum of 500 residents in each market. The 14 Asia-Pacific territories were Australia, China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, India, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, New Zealand, Taiwan, the Philippines and Indonesia.

With regard to the Vietnam findings, further growth in online shopping was seen as inevitable, with a distinct likelihood that the digital sales volume would exceed that of conventional retailing in the medium-term. Overall, more than two-thirds of respondents (67.6%) designated online shopping as one of their prime reasons for accessing the internet, a 13.8% rise compared to last year. Women and those in the 35-44 age bracket were seen as the principal online consumers, tending to spend more and shop more frequently than other demographic groups.

The top three sectors for online shoppers in Vietnam were airline tickets, home appliances and electronic products, and general travel. Overall, airline bookings remained the sector with the biggest median online spending (US$95 on average) although it declined from an average of US$143 last year. Next in line was home appliances and electronics (US$82) and then general travel (US$71).

The most popular websites among Vietnamese online shoppers were Lazada (24.4%), Hotdeal (21.9%), Mua Chung (16.2%) and Chotot (14.7%).

In an online shopping survey conducted by the Vietnam E-commerce and Information Technology Agency in 2014, there were shown to be some 220 domestic etailers in the country, with a collective revenue of US$70 million. Among these, lazada.vn ranked first in terms of revenue, accounting for around 36% of the total. This was followed by sendo.vn, zalora.vn, tiki.vn and ebay.vn.

Compared to the previous years, an increasing number of the MasterCard respondents made purchases via their mobile devices, rising from 34.9% in 2013 to 45.2% in 2014. Correspondingly, the proportion of respondents saying that they would not make a purchase via a mobile device declined from 42.6% to 33%.

Convenience and comfort were cited as the major reasons for people opting for m-commerce purchases. Among the most popular items bought via this route were phone apps, clothing/accessories and music downloads.

According to the Vietnam E-commerce and Information Technology survey, 71% of respondents said they had purchased goods via websites selling products/services last year, up 10% on 2013. The number of shoppers buying goods via social forums also rose, with an increase from 45% in 2013 to 53% in 2014.

The number of people making purchases on a group basis, however, declined significantly – from 51% in 2013 to 35% in 2014. According to respondents the reason for this decline were that 25% now preferred shopping directly via websites, while 13% preferred using mobile apps.

Despite this rise in online purchase, cash remains the most common form of settlement for e-commerce transactions, making up 64% of all payments, down 10% on 2013. In the same period, money transfers dropped from 41% to 14%, while the number of shoppers using e-pockets jumped from 8% in 2013 to 37% in 2014.

Nguyen Quoc Uy, Ho Chi Minh City Office

Content provided by Picture: HKTDC Research
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