The Vietnamese e-commerce market is expected to surge in the next five years, the Ministry of Industry and Trade, which has set an online sales target of $10 billion or 5 per cent of total retail sales, has said.
“Vietnamese e-commerce has achieved significant progress, creating infrastructure and becoming very popular with consumers and businesses,” Thoi bao Kinh te Vietnam (Vietnam Economic Times) quoted deputy minister of Industry and Trade Ho Thi Kim Thoa as saying at a recent seminar.
The e-commerce market share has expanded, with small cities accounting for 25 per cent of last year’s $4 billion sales, and Hanoi and HCM City for 75 per cent.
The seminar also heard that Hanoi accounted for 5,161 e-commerce websites, or 5.6 per cent of all websites in the city.
According to figures from the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s information technology and e-commerce department, around 50 million people use the internet and three-fourths of them shop online. Last year’s $4 billion sales represented a growth of 37 per cent from 2014, and accounted for 2.8 per cent of total retail turnover.
The entry of more people and small and tiny enterprises into social media increased e-commerce turnover.
An estimated 32 million people, or 36 per cent of the Vietnamese population, used social media frequently.
Some 30 per cent of consumers always refer to social media before shopping, 28 per cent of businesses advertise and sell on them, and 62 per cent of e-commerce websites have integrated with social networks like Facebook (70 per cent), Google Plus and Twitter (27 and 18 per cent respectively).
“Vietnamese e-commerce turnover is still very small at only $4 billion,” Lai Viet Anh deputy head of the department, said.
“The figure is $617 billion in China, $39 billion in South Korea and $14 billion in India.”
Most urban residents in Vietnam may be familiar with e-commerce, but in rural areas it is not well-known, she said.
“It won’t be difficult to reach the $10 billion target, but the government must create infrastructure and a legal framework for e-commerce.”
Nguyen Thanh Hung, chair of the Vietnam E-commerce Association, said: “The government will play a very important role in e-commerce. Besides creating proper infrastructure and a legal framework, the government will also be a big user by calling for online tenders and providing online public services.”
It should protect the rights of consumers shopping online, he said.
To achieve the target of $10 billion, infrastructure, market size, the use of e-commerce by the business community and government offices must all be stepped up sharply, he said.
Thoa said, “We need comprehensive cooperation between localities, ministries and industries to develop e-commerce.”
Her ministry is developing an online marketplace atwww.tuhaoviet.vnand many local businesses are keen to get on it, she said.
“In future the ministry will develop more websites to support local enterprises with e-commerce.”