Pandemic pushes shoppers online, but only for essentials

Tuesday, Mar 24, 2020 16:29

A shopper scans QR codes of products on VinID. — Photo

With more people staying indoors due to the COVID-19 pandemic, online shopping is enjoying a surge in popularity.

While sales at traditional markets in Ha Noi have decreased by 50-80 per cent, revenue through e-commerce channels has increased by 20-30 per cent, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

"The number of people using VinID to shop online has tripled. Scan&Go bills soared by 15 times at peak time," Mai Lan Van, VinID’s marketing director, said in an interview with Viet Nam Television (VTV).

However, Tran Tuan Anh, managing director of Shopee Viet Nam, told VnExpress that they have not seen any direct link between the outbreak and the growth in online shopping.

Statistics by SimilarWeb showed that visits to the four largest online shopping sites in Viet Nam, including Shopee, Tiki, Lazada and Sendo, in the first two months of this year decreased by 14 per cent compared to the same period last year.

Nguyen Ngoc Dung, vice president of the Viet Nam E-Commerce Association (VECOM), said that consumers were more interested in online shopping during the epidemic, but only for essential goods.

The overall purchasing power of the economy was declining as buyers tightened spending during the pandemic, therefore, many commodity groups were seeing online sales drop, he said.

Some essential commodities for the epidemic, such as masks and hand sanitiser, are purchased in high amounts.

Demand for necessities and medical supplies throughout the Vietnamese e-commerce market soared.

E-commerce site Tiki said that the most purchased products were masks, wet wipes and air purifiers.

The site recorded 4,000-5,000 orders per minute during peak times, while goods must be continuously restored.

Tiki’s growth in shopping demand surged 15 per cent compared to the last two months of last year. — VNS

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