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E-commerce in Vietnam - statistics & facts

Among one of the fastest-growing internet economies within the Southeast Asian region, Vietnam's e-commerce market value was forecast to reach 39 billion U.S. dollars by 2025, ranking second only after Indonesia. In Vietnam, the present digital population and rising internet penetration provide suitable conditions for e-commerce businesses to thrive. Consequently, the e-commerce share of total retail sales has been increasing fast in the country, while online channels have surpassed modern retail channels in terms of growth within the FMCG market.

Domestic vs. international e-commerce platforms

International e-marketplaces such as Singapore’s Shopee and Alibaba-owned Lazada currently hold the leading positions within the Vietnamese e-commerce market. Meanwhile, there has been an increasing number of newly registered Vietnamese e-commerce sites, especially in the form of e-marketplaces. Local brand The Gioi Di Dong has emerged as one of the most popular e-commerce sites in recent years, specializing in consumer electronics and IT devices. Overall, the business-to-consumer (B2C) revenue of the e-commerce sector has grown from under a billion U.S dollars in 2012 to around 12 billion U.S. dollars in 2020.

What are Vietnamese buying online?

The travel, mobility, and accommodation sector used to account for the largest e-commerce expenditure among internet users in Vietnam prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, this sector recorded a decrease of 45 percent in consumer spending in 2020 due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the travel and tourism industry. At the same time, other e-commerce categories of consumer goods saw significant growth, with food and beverages products having the highest increase in consumer expenditure. During the pandemic, more and more Vietnamese consumers have been willing to shop online for basic necessities and fresh products. As a result, online grocery shopping has had the highest growth in usage at the expense of traditional retail outlets. This new and quickly adopted habit was expected to stay even after the pandemic, indicating continuing expansion of the e-commerce sector in the country.

E-commerce outlook: cash versus digital payment

Compared to its Southeast Asian neighbors, Vietnam is rather a cash-reliant country. When it comes to online shopping, cash on delivery is still the most popular payment method among Vietnamese people. Although the popularity of this method has been slightly declining, it still surpassed cashless payments in terms of usage in 2020 as it minimizes risks for online shoppers. Among all cashless payment options, e-wallets have been gaining traction in the last few years, as suggested by an increasing number of users and providers, as well as high future usage intention among Vietnamese. With the constant development of the fintech sector in Vietnam, cashless payments are on the way to be the go-to payment method for even more e-commerce users in the future.

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