Vietnam is one of the most advanced Conversational Commerce markets:

Facebook’s findings ignite hopes for growth

16:17 | 13/08/2021 Society

Being conversational is increasingly important, when the Covid-19 pandemic has completely changed the way we live, work and communicate. Especially for businesses, in the context of limited direct sales and marketing in store, maintaining conversations with customers is not only vital to help businesses maintain their business operations and generate revenue during this difficult period, but also an inevitable trend to help businesses understand the needs and desires of consumers, anytime, anywhere, thereby improving the quality of products/services and win customers in the long term.

facebooks findings ignite hopes for growth

In fact, conversations are truly adding to commerce, as shopping decisions facilitated through chat upon messaging platforms between buyers and sellers continue to be the norm both in Vietnam and across the globe. Facebook-commissioned studies, carried out by the social network’s trusted partners (BCG in July 2019, and Decision Lab in June 2021), keep on underlining the growing influence of CC, typically in Vietnam, with authentic consumer insights and practical business recommendations.

1. Vietnam is one of the most advanced CC markets where CC plays an important role in how people shop online

- Vietnam is the 2nd most advanced CC market with 2nd highest CC influence and purchase penetration amongst assessed markets, with 36% of users making a purchase via chat and 53% of users using chat along their buying journey.

- CC brings more shoppers online: more than 50% of CC buyers in Vietnam joined the online buying universe through chat.

- In Vietnam, 95% of CC buyers plan to increase or maintain their CC spending in the future.

- Consumer-merchant interaction is most important in the ‘Consideration stage’, as 59% of them want to chat when considering or researching information about a product.

- The main reasons for making purchases via chat is for more detailed information (64%) and a personalized consultation (61%). 55% of consumers prefer CC over E-commerce thanks to faster response, and 49% because of the simplicity in the purchasing process.

2. Vietnamese CC consumers shop frequently & have high loyalty

- Overall, half of consumers make purchases via chat at least once a week. For Hanoi and HCMC, the rate is at 58%, which is notably higher than in the rest of Vietnam.

- Fashion/clothing and Beauty services are the most preferred categories for CC.

* Top 3 products purchased via CC: fashion/clothing, food, electronics

* Top 3 services purchased via CC: beauty, education, financial services

- Cash on delivery is the go-to payment method for CC. Notably, E-wallet is the 2nd most preferred option, it is particularly well adopted in Hanoi and HCMC.

- After the purchase, 66% of consumers are willing to keep in touch with the merchants. Building lasting relationships with Gen X and Millennials may also be easier than with Gen Z. Consumers most prefer to receive updates about promotions and new products/services. And Facebook Messenger (58%) is by large their most favorite channel to receive these updates.

- CC seems to be a good way to retain customers, where 72% of them are willing to continue purchasing from the same shop.

3. Social media plays a key role in CC, in which Facebook Family of Apps are among the most popular and potential channels for CC in Vietnam

- 2 out of 3 Vietnamese CC buyers discovered CC through social media such as advertisements in social media feed & messages from sellers.

- When it comes to advertisement, relevancy of the product (66%) is the best trigger to get consumers to start a conversation, followed by promotions & free shipping.

- Facebook Messenger (85%) and E-commerce (68%) are the most popular channels for CC.

- Instagram Direct & Livestream are rising channels for CC:

* When it comes to making chat purchases via Instagram Direct, most of these online shoppers often use CC on a weekly basis, with 61% making chat purchases at least once a week. Fashion/clothing is still the most popular product, followed by Beauty products (which is different from other platforms, where Food commonly makes the second-most purchased items).

* For Livestream, 60% of consumers make chat purchases via this platform on a frequent basis (at least once a week). Livestream is also mainly used for purchasing fashion/clothing (81%) compared to other product categories.

Based on such critical findings, Facebook has highlighted key recommendations for businesses to leverage CC in their business strategies. According to the social network, brands should:

- Provide fast responses, detailed information, and personalized consultation in a professional manner. Prepare in advance answers for customers’ frequently asked questions.

- Have multiple payment options in place to cater to customers’ diverse preferred payment methods.

- Make sure your ads are true to products & services.

- Utilize Facebook’s Unified Inbox or a FBP’s inbox management service to manage in-coming conversations from various sources effectively.

- To encourage repeat purchases, provide your existing customers with information about promotions, new products/services or free delivery regularly.

- Start exploring Instagram Direct and Livestream for more opportunities to make meaningful conversations with your customers.

Nguyen Tuong Huy, Head of Growth, Global Business Group Vietnam, Facebook, commented,“We have built and been continuously improving a strong ecosystem for CC, believing that it will benefits both businesses and consumers in Vietnam, not only in light of Covid-19 pandemic, but many years to come. Beyond facilitating successful transactions, CC manifests itself as a useful tool for communication, bridging the gaps and empowering long-lasting relationships between people and brands. Businesses should embrace our actionable platforms, tools and solutions to make the most of CC and find their way to success.”

PV