Three dimensions of Vietnam’s e-commerce in 2019

Single-market merchants and digital payment will certainly become even more notable in the upcoming year.

Vietnam’s e-commerce, which is predicted to growth 43% from now until 2025, will go through 2019 with three notable dimensions in which single-market merchants would be the market trend.

Digital payment and entertainment while shopping would be other interesting market movements this year thanks to exciting activities experienced in 2018, according to Dang Dang Truong, Content Marketing Executive at iPrice Group.

The rise of domestic single-market merchants

Domestic single-market merchants such as Tiki, Thegioididong, and are expected to outperform other rivals after impressive improvements in 2018 for attracting both user traffic and investment, according to iPrice’s data on the Vietnamese market.

The most impressive is Tiki. Its monthly website traffic posted an increase of 80% within only six months, which took them from the fourth most-traded e-commerce website in Vietnam to second place by December.

Similarly,, invested by software developer FPT Group, grew by 55% in monthly website traffic within a period of six months and maintained a healthy fifth place in Vietnam, one rank behind Thegioididong.

All of these merchants also did well enough in 2018 to rank among the top 10 merchants with the highest monthly web traffic in Southeast Asia.

These positive results arrived soon after Tiki and announced their success in raising new funding. Tiki received US$44.04 million from in late 2017 while got US$51 million from various investors last August.

It seems that by focusing on one market and utilizing their knowledge on local shopping behaviour, single-market merchants like Tiki and have a certain advantage over the multinational competitors Lazada and Shopee.

Now that they’re starting to gain access to better funding, Vietnamese single-market merchants might surprise everyone and win big in 2019.

Top five e-commerce platforms in Vietnam in Q4/2017. Photo: iPrice

Top five e-commerce platforms in Vietnam in Q4/2017. Photo: iPrice

Digital payment becomes more popular

Right in the first month of 2019, MoMo – one of the most popular digital wallets in Vietnam – announced that they had successfully closed their series C funding round.

Before that, in 2018, Moca, a local competitor, also started a partnership with GrabPay and expanded their digital payment services.

In a similar move, other online payment services like ZaloPay and ViettelPay have been showing signs of becoming more serious in their attempts to get users.

All these movements promise to make digital payment more popular with Vietnamese online shoppers.

However, only 25% of Vietnamese chose to use digital payment, according to Google and Temasek’s report while the rest prefer CoD (Cash-on-delivery) for their only transactions.

While CoD helps ease the minds of customers, extra charges on CoD transactions for logistics are a problem for e-commerce merchants. But CoD is also shown to increases the risk of product return.

Therefore, the more popular digital payment in Vietnam thanks to advocating efforts from service providers like MoMo, GrabPay, and ZaloPay will bring a lot of benefits to the whole e-commerce sector in Vietnam in 2019.

Entertainment and engagement while shopping

After focusing on price-based promotion campaigns in previous years, e-commerce merchants in Vietnam have started to adopt some innovative strategies in their user acquisition efforts in 2018.

In particular, they began to provide customers with more entertainment values.

The most prominent follower of this trend must be Shopee.

For this year’s Singles Day, besides their usual promotions, Shopee also introduced several interactive games for their app users as well as a live TV show featuring some of the biggest Vietnamese pop stars, the first of its kind in Vietnam.

Shopee’s main competitors in Vietnam, Lazada and Tiki also created interactive games on their apps and websites.

These programs have proved that e-commerce merchants in Vietnam have finally realized that the most effective way for them to get users and keep them around is by engaging with them and making them feel more involved.

This trend will certainly become even more notable in the upcoming year, the executive noted.


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