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Vietnam E-Commerce Market Could Surpass $11.8 Billion

The Vietnamese e-commerce market is forecast to continue growing in the post-pandemic period, with revenue surpassing last year’s figure. This is according to data from experts during a Techfest Vietnam 2021 workshop held recently on the future of the Vietnamese digital economy. The e-commerce revenue in Vietnam hit US$11.8 billion last year, posting a growth rate of 18%.

An industry expert at the event noted that the Vietnamese e-commerce market recorded the fastest growth rate in Southeast Asia. E-commerce is expected to continue thriving after the COVID-19 pandemic is controlled, creating new consumption trends. According to a press release, the demand for online purchases through e-commerce platforms has increased sharply since the outbreak of the pandemic. Till now, more than 70% of Vietnam’s population have accessed the Internet, of which nearly 50% of consumers have tried online shopping and 53% of them have used e-wallets and online payment.

The expert added that consumers’ habits have completely changed during the pandemic, as they have reduced shopping activities and instead, they have focused on essential goods and been interested in Vietnamese commodities. A participant at the event stated that a change in shopping habits has created opportunities for e-commerce to develop although Vietnam’s e-commerce still faces many challenges like consumer trust when buying online products, forms of delivery and payment, information security, and transportation infrastructure.

The Head of the E-commerce Postal Sales Department at Vietnam Post noted that the rapid growth of the market is forecast to continue in the future. This growth will not only bring about major opportunities but also challenges for the development of logistics platforms to meet the increasing demand of customers and the market. Logistics enterprises for e-commerce are also facing a low rate of information technology application in e-commerce logistics, she said. Currently, only about 11% of businesses are applying basic information technology related to tracking and tracing goods, delivery, and warehousing systems. Another challenge is the absence of a legal framework for e-commerce logistics.

OpenGov Asia reported recently that online transactions in Vietnam for the first four months of this year jumped 66% compared with the same period last year, which has been accelerated enormously by the pandemic. There has also been an increase in the use of e-wallets, payments via smartphones and QR codes, and high demand for ‘instant credit’ solutions such as buy-now-pay-later, particularly among those segments of the population that remain unbanked or underbanked. Fintech and e-wallet penetration reached 56% in 2021 for Vietnam, a hike of 40 percentage points from 2017. This penetration level is higher than the average of APAC emerging markets (at 54%) and developed markets (43%).

Vietnam’s consumers are demanding digital financial solutions, and the industry is rising to the challenge by using cutting-edge digital banking solutions, gaining attention around the world.  The country is among the world’s fastest-growing digital economies in Southeast Asia. By 2025, the Vietnam digital economy’s compound annual growth rate is forecast to reach 29%, followed by Thailand at 25%, and Malaysia and Singapore at 21%.

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