Managing Director of Shopee Vietnam: Empowering sellers in their journey on e-commerce

Friday, Dec 11, 2020 12:12

Tran Tuan Anh, Managing Director of Shopee Vietnam

The ongoing pandemic has affected every aspect of people’s lives: from places they can go, the way they spend their time, to the way they spend their money. These changes have resulted in an accelerated adoption of e-commerce, with the upward trend in online shopping set to continue as more Vietnamese become reliant on the sector for their everyday needs. This has spurred e-commerce platforms such as Shopee, the leading e-commerce platform in Southeast Asia and Taiwan, to step up on their efforts to help sellers transition seamlessly online.

Tran Tuan Anh, Managing Director of Shopee Vietnam outlines how the e-commerce landscape has evolved throughout 2020 and how Shopee has adapted to these changes to empower sellers, especially at its biggest annual sale, the Shopee 12.12 Birthday Sale.

December marks a milestone for Shopee with this year being its fifth birthday. Over the five years, what changes have you seen in e-commerce in Vietnam, especially during this year when the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted our lives? How has Shopee adapted to the recent developments?

Since Shopee started in 2015, we have grown from strength to strength. We are fortunate to be in a position to lead the e-commerce transformation and growth in Southeast Asia and Taiwan. Over the past 5 years, we have noticed the three key trends which have shaped and will continue to drive the growth of e-commerce: Social, Personalisation, and Integration.

First, today’s users are more social than ever and they demand a more meaningful, engaging and entertaining online shopping experience with rich and unique content. Online shopping is now more than just a transactional experience. Consumers want to be entertained, informed and connect with one another. Shopee has continuously improved on its in-app engagement features over the past five years to make the online shopping experience more social. As a result, the average time spent by a user in-app has consistently increased year-on year.

Second, personalisation is critical in the e-commerce of today. As brands increasingly grow their online presence and consumers spend more time shopping online, it is easy to become overwhelmed by choices, which negatively impacts the customer experience. A highly personalised experience will make online shopping more enjoyable and unique for consumers, while helping brands and sellers drive increased traffic and growth. Shopee also continually refines our recommendation engines to offer more customised and relevant shopping suggestions, promotions and push notifications made to fit consumers’ needs.

Last but not least, with 2020 being a year of accelerated digitalisation, businesses large and small had to quickly implement digital strategies to continue reaching customers amidst the lockdowns. While e-commerce adoption has grown steadily over the past few months and will likely continue to do so, spending time at shopping malls remains a popular pastime for consumers in the region. Brands will need to be able to provide truly seamless online-to-offline experience, ensuring that each touchpoint enhances the overall customer journey. Shopee has also enhanced its features to replicate the offline shopping experience. This includes providing an integrated payments and logistics ecosystem which allows users to enjoy a fuss-free and seamless check-out experience, as well as engagement features such as Shopee Live Chat, to enable conversations between buyers and sellers in real-time.

As the Covid-19 pandemic has led to big shifts across Southeast, we are fortunate to be at the forefront of this transformation in our region, and want to continue creating new livelihoods for local sellers and entrepreneurs, new ways for people to shop and connect, and new paths to success for businesses. Shopee will continue to strengthen our efforts to ensure that the benefits and opportunities of e-commerce are shared with everyone.

Shopee affirms to empower sellers in their journey to e-commerce.

E-commerce has become the main distribution channel in Vietnam following the COVID-19 outbreak. What has Shopee done to help sellers digitise?

The growth of e-commerce in Southeast Asia and Taiwan has created new opportunities for sellers, SMEs small and medium enterprises (SMEs), SMEs and brands. This trend is reflected on Shopee, as the number of sellers on the platform increased by 60 per cent year-on-year in the second quarter.

As the market leader, Shopee is in a strong position to connect people and businesses, promote digital inclusion, and power the next wave of growth.We empower our region’s online sellers and entrepreneurs by catering to the rich and diverse pool of businesses in our region, setting up both new and experienced sellers for long-term success.

Shopee introduced Shopee University, a platform that offers educational support for all sellers to start and scale their online business effectively. It offers in-depth training modules across a range of topics, including marketing, operations, and data analytics to help sellers at all stages of the e-commerce journey. This year, Shopee made it even easier for sellers to upskill themselves by digitalising its Shopee University curriculum and launching its online Seller Education Hub, allowing sellers to learn and upgrade at any time. We have also partnered with VPBank to organise training programmes for sellers such as the Small-business Academy.

In April, we introduced our Seller Support Package to help local businesses tide through the effects of a global pandemic. The package successfully helped local sellers and SMEs, including those with no e-commerce experience, transition online with a range of operational and marketing support. It had a strong positive impact especially on new sellers, who saw 6 times more sales at Shopee’s 9.9 Super Shopping Day in September. We also partnered with UOB to organise the Biz-Merchant programme to offer sellers loans at low interest rates.

The 12.12 Birthday Sale is one of the Shopee’s biggest annual sales events. This year this sale is more special since Shopee celebrates its fifth anniversary in the region and in Viet Nam. Could you tell us about this year’s 12.12 sale?

This year’s 12.12 Birthday Sale has added significance as it marks Shopee’s 5th birthday, and also signifies the coming together of our brand partners, sellers and shoppers to support one another through a challenging year. Shopee started in 2015 and we are now at the forefront of e-commerce growth in the region. This would not have been possible without the strong support of all our brands partners, sellers and shoppers. We hope this 12.12 Birthday Sale will be equally meaningful to them as e-commerce takes on a growing role in our lives.

This year, we would like to thank all users across the region for their unending support in a year of exceptional growth and provide even greater choices and value as e-commerce becomes more widely adopted. We wrap up the year-end with unbeatable deals and promotions for our shoppers. This includes exciting daily promotions including lowest priced deals for VND12,000, free shipping nationwide with no minimum spend, unbeatable discounts of up to 50 per cent across all categories, and exciting deals from leading brands on Shopee Mall.

How do you expect the 12.12 Birthday Sale programme to go?

We have continued to set records in our 9.9, 10.10, and 11.11 shopping events. This reflects a continued strong growth and potential of e-commerce in the region. We are confident that 12.12 will record strong performance with the robust support of consumers, sellers, and brands across the region.

To prepare for the surge in shopping activity, we have continued to optimise our platform and work closely with sellers, brand partners, as well as logistics and payments providers to deliver an unmatched shopping experience.

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