COVID-19 sends Vietnamese shoppers online

Tuesday, May 12, 2020 10:00

Vietnamese switch to online shopping amid the difficulties caused by COVID-19. — VNS Photo

The COVID-19 pandemic is changing the shopping habits of Vietnamese consumers, many of whom are moving online, experts said.

Minh Phuong, who lives in District 7, HCM City, said she used to go to supermarkets for buying daily requirements, but has changed this habit since social distancing was ordered.

She told Viet Nam News that her shopping habit has changed greatly.

“I now buy everything online on Instagram, Facebook and e-commerce sites. Supermarkets also offer online shopping services, and many companies like Grab help me shop.

“Social distancing has stopped but I still keep shopping online.”

Phuong’s story is indicative of the fact that Vietnamese are relying on e-commerce to meet their everyday needs as they live, work, and play from home.

In a report on four major e-commerce trends in 2020, e-commerce giant Shopee said: “The retail landscape in Viet Nam has been transformed by increased social distancing efforts, as the community combats the spread of Covid-19.

“As a result, brands and sellers are venturing online in search of growth, while consumers turn to e-commerce to meet their shopping needs.”

On average, people are spending 25 per cent more time on Shopee every week.

“This reflects an increasing reliance on e-commerce, which provides users with one-stop access to essentials, health products and more.” The top purchases include make-up removers, smartphones, milk, diapers, and pots and pans.

Brands and sellers are venturing online while exploring new strategies to reach and engage with consumers.

Tran Tuan Anh, managing director, Shopee Vietnam, said: “Brands and sellers across the region are stepping up their digitalisation efforts, with e-commerce becoming a key channel for them to sustain and grow their businesses.

“More consumers go online to fulfil their everyday needs from groceries to home appliances.”

The Shopee report revealed that brands and sellers in the grocery, home appliances and home and living categories are seeing strong growth.

Those offering earphones and accessories and floor and vacuum cleaners got nine and eight times more orders in the first quarter than in the same period last year.

Brands and sellers are actively exploring new ways to reach consumers.

Another trend seen during the COVID-19 pandemic is that shopping preferences are also changing as consumers look for convenience on e-commerce during this period.

Online shopping activity has peaked on Wednesdays and Fridays in recent months, indicating the preference among Vietnamese to complete shopping before weekend.

There has been a concomitant increase in cashless payments as consumers value speed and reduce physical interactions, with users increasingly using options such as AirPay Wallet.

During the time, there was increased social interaction and engagement among online shoppers. It is now ever more important for e-commerce platforms to bring people together. — VNS

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