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Zing pulls down shopping site

Update: February, 08/2012 - 10:02

HA NOI — Vinagame company has closed its on-line shopping website Zing Deal after two months of operation - despite the apparent success of the operation.

It said this is because it wants to further develop other e-commerce activities. After two months of operation, the website claims to have sold more than 10,000 on-line coupons that helped buyers save VND1.4 billion (US$67,000) on a wide range of goods.

Bao Anh, an IT expert from Vinagame, declined to comment on the issue apart from saying the closure could lead to new development strategy.

Launched in November, 2010, Zing Deal was an e-commerce website operating on the "Groupon model" (group coupon). In a deal-of-the-day, it featured discounted gift certificates usable at local or national companies.

Backed by a solid financial foundation, experienced technical team and powerful database with great support from users in the social networks such as Zing Me and News Zing owned by Vinagame, the Zing Deal looked initially very promising.

According to an industry insider, Vinagame did not pay enough attention to developing the website.

Vinagames experience in on-line service was apparently not sufficient to run a group purchasing service based on on-line sales rather than technology services. One insider said that even Facebook, the world's most popular social networking site, and Google, had also failed to make a success of similar operations.

Many experts said that the group purchasing model had great potential, but difficult economic times would make it difficult for the 100 or so operating in Viet Nam to succeed.

Truong Si Anh, a market researcher from Kantar Media, said the information about goods and services on Groupon websites was sometimes too vague. If purchases were not guaranteed by website owners, the schemes could quickly unwind.

Many Groupon websites are still active, but many smaller ones have closed without announcement.

This is sometimes linked with the risk of finding that goods received do not match the claims made on-line. Some sites have also been accused of deliberately cheating customers. — VNS

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