VN sets its sights on e-commerce growth

Update: October, 29/2016 - 09:02
A customer shops online. This certainly will strengthen the growing trend of making online purchases in Việt Nam. — VNS Photo Đoàn Tùng
Viet Nam News

CẦN THƠ — Vietnamese small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are encouraged to promote brand building and e-commerce development to enhance competitiveness at a workshop on e-commerce yesterday in Cần Thơ City.

The event is organised by the Việt Nam E-Commerce Association (VECOM) in collaboration with the Industry and Trade Department of Cần Thơ City as part of efforts to make SMEs take advantage of the fast growing e-commerce opportunities in Việt Nam.

"Innovation happens every day and the revolution is on. Consumers take shortcuts and the recipes used today will not work tomorrow. Therefore, it’s time for SMEs to take e-commerce seriously and make proper investment in building their brand online via the most effective tool – websites – to maintain and even enhance their competitiveness in the market," President of VECOM Nguyễn Thanh Hưng said.

"Building websites is the first move to enter e-commerce and the domain name you choose for your website can significantly impact the reputation and credibility of your brand," Hưng added. 

"Choosing the right domain name is the first step towards building a successful and credible online presence. Once a business has an official online presence by owning a standard domain name, it is ensured high visibility every time and everywhere," Nguyễn Minh Thái, business director of Mắt Bão Network, one of the leading domain name providers in Việt Nam, said.

"Moreover, globally recognised domain names like .com also help businesses access larger markets, not only in the country, but also beyond the boundaries, reaching higher potential growth and increasing their profits", Thái said.

The workshop aims to provide local SMEs an overview of e-commerce and its immense growth potential in Việt Nam and introduce effective tools to create an online business. It has attracted the participation of hundreds of local SMEs and leading consultants and experts in e-commerce, especially in the field of website building, online payment, brand development based on domain name and online advertising.

According to the Việt Nam E-Commerce Report 2015, there were more than 10,000 e-commerce platforms and websites registered in 2015, doubling the number in 2014. This certainly will strengthen the growing trend of making online purchases in Việt Nam. It is projected that Việt Nam’s revenue from online shopping will increase by 40 per cent by 2020.

The report also said online retailers posted over US$4 billion in sales last year and it is expected to increase to $10 billion by 2020, making up five per cent of Việt Nam’s total retail sales. Despite the rapid growth in online sales, several Vietnamese enterprises have not fully recognised the opportunity. In fact, only 20 per cent of SMEs have websites to promote their sales, of which it is difficult to access 70 per cent via mobile phones.

E-commerce takes stronger role 

According to a master plan to develop e-commerce from 2016-20, around 50 per cent of businesses will have an internet presence to update their business information and popularise their products. Meanwhile, 80 per cent of enterprises will order or receive orders through e-commerce applications on the Internet or on mobile platforms. 

All supermarkets, shopping malls and distribution facilities will install point-of-sale (POS) systems which enable non-cash payment for purchases. In addition, non-cash payment will also be encouraged in roughly 50 per cent of households in big cities and 70 per cent of providers of power, water, communication and media services.

Regarding e-commerce market scale, about 30 per cent of the population is expected to partake in online shopping by 2020, with the average value of purchased commodities reaching $350 per buyer.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade said after five years of ecommerce master plan development in 2011-15 period, the sector has affirmed its position contributing to socio-economic development in Việt Nam.

Experts believe that e-commerce is new and complicated model that needs integrated management tools and co-operation among relevant agencies to create an fair business environment that ensure companies and customers’ rights. — VNS