Your Guide to Vietnamese eCommerce

Kate Dao
Kate Dao
August 13, 2019

As one of the fastest growing economies in Asia, Vietnam represents a huge opportunity for anyone interested in taking their business into new territories. The country is no stranger to the world of eCommerce – it’s already a leading wholesale clothing manufacturer in the burgeoning print-on-demand (POD) industry. Now, it’s become a top destination for global sellers.

Vietnam’s thriving eCommerce market consists of 35.4 million users and has already brought in $2,709 million in 2019. The country has 59.2 million internet users, well over half the total population. That figure is expected to reach 67.8 million by 2021. While smartphone penetration lags behind, with 35 million users owning a device, that number is expected to rise to 40 million by 2021. For sellers, this means that now’s the time to open up a shop in Vietnam and get a foothold in a rapidly expanding market.

Here, we’ll be diving into everything you need to know about the Vietnamese market, including shopping trends and preferred marketplaces, as well as some logistical difficulties you might encounter when getting started.

Top Vietnamese eCommerce Marketplaces

Three Vietnamese merchant sites rank among the top 10 eCommerce marketplaces in Southeast Asia. Tiki.vn, sendo.vn, and thegioididong.vn are competing with and sometimes outperforming Lazada Vietnam, Alibaba Vietnam, Shopee Vietnam, and JD.com Vietnam, which are all much larger marketplaces that cover the whole of Southeast Asia. Additionally, both Tiki and Sendo recently received a cash injection from outside investors, signaling plans to expand further.

When deciding on where to open your store, note the following top eCommerce marketplaces in Vietnam:

  • Shopee Vietnam
  • Tiki.vn
  • Lazada Vietnam
  • Sendo.vn
  • Thegioididongvn

Considerations Before Expanding to Vietnam

Before taking your business to Vietnam, be sure to consider the following:

Payment Preferences

Only 25% of online transactions in Vietnam involve digital payment methods. The rest are conducted using cash on delivery, which might create logistical headaches when it comes to your payments.  

vietnamese cash

Many eCommerce orders are paid for in cash

Fortunately, digital payment platforms, including Payoneer, are investing in developing logistics and infrastructure in the country, enabling a secure payments solution for your business. 

Popular Vietnamese Product Categories

When it comes to the products that customers in Vietnam are shopping for, the following five categories are the most popular:

  1. Electronics and media ($685 million in 2019)
  2. Fashion ($661 million in 2019)
  3. Toys, hobby, and DIY ($438 million in 2019)
  4. Furniture and appliances ($478 million in 2019)
  5. Food and personal care ($448 million in 2019)

Age Demographics For Vietnamese Customers

When deciding on which age groups to target in Vietnam, a breakdown of internet usage can be a good indicator of who your likely customers will be. In the 16-24 year old demographic, a whopping 96% use the internet. This number drops to 91% for 25-34 year olds, 85% for 45-54 year olds and just 62% for those over the age of 55.

This means that when deciding on a product line for your store, you’re more likely to succeed with something geared towards the younger generations. 

eCommerce Shopping Habits in Vietnam

In Vietnam, the vast majority of online shopping is done on desktop computers. That said, the forecasted increase in mobile device usage is likely to change how eCommerce is conducted in the coming years.

vietnamese desktop shopper

Most eCommerce orders are placed from personal computers

Current shopping habits in Vietnam can be broken down as follows:

  • 71% of eCommerce transactions take place on desktop computers.
  • 18% of purchases are made on a mobile device.
  • 9% of purchases are made on a tablet or other internet-enabled device.

Vietnamese eCommerce Logistics

One of the main obstacles to eCommerce in Vietnam is logistical, especially when it comes to deliveries. Only 34% of Vietnam’s citizens live in urban areas, which means that deliveries often need to be made to distant, scattered, rural customers. But this has given rise to some impressive innovations, including automated drop-off delivery boxes where customers can collect their purchases.

eCommerce in Vietnam is Ripe for Sellers

While Vietnam’s eCommerce market is still relatively small compared with giants like China and Japan, it’s expanding at an astonishing pace. This presents an excellent opportunity for you to expand your store and tap into a new customer base.

Payoneer is here to help! Our cross-border payments solution provides you with the tools you need to successfully expand your business and break into new markets.

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