Companies urged to develop online presence amid pandemic

May 16, 2020 - 07:10
Businesses should take advantage of both online and offline platforms to increase their ability to adapt to disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, speakers said at an online seminar on May 15 in the city.
Phan Bích Tâm, national director of Mobile Marketing Association, speaks at an online seminar held yesterday in HCM City to discuss how businesses can take advantage of online marketing amid the pandemic. Photo courtesy of The Saigon Times Online

HCM CITY — Businesses should take advantage of both online and offline platforms to increase their ability to adapt to disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, speakers said at an online seminar yesterday in the city.

Lê Trí Thông, general director of Phú Nhuận Jewelry Company (PNJ), said: “The outbreak has already affected the whole economy, changing consumers’ buying habits, forcing many businesses to adapt to better serve customers’ online shopping needs as traditional sales channels have been affected.

“Businesses have no choice but to accelerate digital transformation. To thrive during the current pandemic, businesses should strengthen their online-to-offline platforms,” he said. 

Phan Bích Tâm, national director of Mobile Marketing Association, said that online traffic and the increase of internet users has been matched by recent rises in online activity.

Businesses need to take advantage of their resources to be present in online marketplaces. “Small- and medium-sized businesses should choose technology and applications available in the market at a very low cost,” she noted.

She said there was more attention online now than ever before, with consumers looking for content relevant to current events. 

“Việt Nam has a great future opportunity to develop its online businesses and services. In the future, online consulting services may also appear.” 

Businesses should combine both offline and online channels to optimise sales. If companies fail to take advantage of digital marketing, they will lose opportunities to their competitors, according to Tâm.

When combining online and offline channels, it is important to manage customer data to understand customers better. 

“In my opinion, responsible marketing strategies play an important role in building customer confidence at this time,” she said. 

Experts said in addition to being visible on online marketplaces, companies, especially exporters, should have a website. 

Businesses affected by the outbreak should turn to digital marketing to ride out the pandemic as they prepare for long-term disruption.

They should also communicate more with their customers and suppliers about company changes and new business plans, and let customers know how they can purchase goods or ask for services.

Experts also urged companies to monitor their finances and prepare for long-term disruptions.

“Research on available economic packages and services from government agencies and private sector providers underscores the need to also explore e-commerce and other online banking solutions. 

“It is also important for enterprises to take online courses and join webinars that help increase their business resilience, and enable them to adapt to business disruptions more efficiently,” Tâm said. 

Online growth

Experts said the e-commerce market in Việt Nam has great potential. 

Vũ Thị Nhật Linh, deputy general director of, said customers were spending more time on online platforms compared to the end of 2019. Many businesses have begun focusing on promoting online distribution channels.

Most of the major online trading platforms are focusing on a system that provides accurate information to customers and solves their problems in a timely manner.       

She said businesses must learn to improve competitiveness and improve the brand value and quality of their products and services.

According to statistics from Sapo Express, April recorded a sharp increase in the number of online orders and online shopping. 

Experts said while it was uncertain when everything will settle down, enterprises are going to struggle more in order to make up for their losses. 

To deal with the Covid-19 crisis, there are still opportunities for companies to maximise their digital marketing presence during this difficult time.

The online seminar was organised by The Saigon Times Online, HCM City Young Entrepreneurs Association and NS Bluescope Vietnam Ltd. — VNS