Much Vietnamese retail still traditional, but digitalization offers solutions

14:10 | 17/06/2019 Society

(VEN) - The Vietnamese retail market is highly attractive to investors given the country’s population of over 97 million, rapid economic growth and an increase in income and consumption. However, manufacturers, importers and distributors have difficulty distributing their products through traditional channels due to high risks, high transport fees, poor store management, and other factors.

much vietnamese retail still traditional but digitalization offers solutions

In 2018, total retail sales of goods and services in the Vietnamese market reached US$143.3 billion. While modern channels only accounted for nearly 25 percent of retail sales, the traditional channel with over 9,000 markets and 1.4 million grocery stores took the rest. These figures show that traditional retail is still an extremely large and influential distribution channel.

Director Vo Tan Thanh of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Ho Chi Minh City Branch (VCCI-HCMC) said that despite its potential, the distribution of goods and services still face shortcomings due to high costs, difficult management, and unsynchronized distribution, significantly affecting stakeholders like grocery store owners and consumers.

The modernization of traditional groceries is an urgent requirement. Many sales software products are available for general trade (GT) groceries. Sapo X provides software that manages the sale at shops and chains. KiotViet, utilizing cloud computing, allows access to sales data anywhere, anytime.

The rapid growth of the digital economy has speeded up the evolution of the retail industry and changed consumers’ shopping behavior, requiring retailers to innovate to better serve customers’ diverse needs and provide them with better shopping experiences.

Vietnam E-commerce Association Deputy Chairman Nguyen Ngoc Dung said multi-task distribution platforms like BB Link could help suppliers deliver goods and services to more than 900,000 points of sale, and support these points of sale to become direct sales channels for consumers.

Vincent Lu The Hung, chief strategy officer of the BB Vietnam Investment and Trading Corporation, said the platform enables businesses to easily distribute goods to the whole market within one to two weeks. It can also completely control the amount of inventory, goods distributed to each point of sale and the volume of goods distributed in the market by using advanced technologies, such as artificial intelligence and big data, he added. In all, this helps businesses gain easier and faster access to traditional distribution channels at optimal efficiency.

According to the Kantar Worldpanel, a world-leading data, insights and consulting company, up to 92 percent of

surveyed consumers in Vietnam say they prefer buying essential goods at grocery stores.

Ngoc Thao