Shopee - the newcomer in Vietnam e-commerce market

15:30 | 10/10/2017 Companies

(VEN) - Shopee, the leading e-commerce platform in Southeast Asia and Taiwan, held its annual shopping event, 9.9 Online Shopping Day, on 9th September for the second time. In a talk with Vietnam Economic News’ Nhat Quang, Shopee Vietnam Managing Director Pine Kyaw shared his insights into the market and how the company contributes to the fast-growing e-commerce scene in Vietnam.

shopee the newcomer in vietnam e commerce market
“One thing we can all work together is educating the market on the e-commerce activities,” Shopee Vietnam Managing Director Pine Kyaw said

Under Decision No. 1563/QD-TTg dated August 08, 2016, to approve master plan for e-commerce development in 2016-2020 period, Vietnam e-commerce market scale would reach $10 billion, accounting for five percent of total retail sales. Do you think this goal is too ambitious?

We are incredibly optimistic about Vietnam e-commerce market; and, I think this goal, honestly, is quite achievable. In fact, Vietnam has a young population. If you look at the Internet penestration, more importantly, the young population’s ability to spend and their acceptability to spend online, the potential is very high. In sum, I think US$10 billion is a good figure to target to.

What are Shopee’s suggestions to join forces with other online trading platforms to build and develop Vietnam e-commerce market in the future?

In my opinion, one thing we can all work together is educating the market on the e-commerce activities. At the percentage, we are still very small compared to the average of retail trading. We have to work hard to teach people and educate the market what the e-commerce is and the experience of buying online. Then I think the education, at present, is a reasonable strategy to promote the whole country e-commerce market.

E-Commerce of Vietnam, the bright future is not too far but there are still barriers and problems to solve. The biggest factor is the trust of the seller and buyer when trading or shopping online. Also, product’s quality is a question mark when consumers are about to place an order. What is Shopee’s specific strategy to build trust and to keep customers back?

The first thing that Shopee builds trust is to get the buyers talk to the sellers. If you buy something “behind the black wall”, you cannot meet the sellers. But with the Shopee’s features, we allow sellers and buyers know about each other. The second thing is that Shopee is an e-commerce platform which holds the money from the buyers and makes sure that the buyers are satisfied before we release the money to the sellers.

In fact, Shopee has a customer-service team which reply to the need of the buyers. We also encourage the buyers to raise their voice on commenting the previous transaction whether they are satisfied or not; or to rate the sellers. Hopefully, our effort can help the customers gain confidence in purchasing online.

Shopee is among the few e-commerce platforms in Vietnam that have survived and continues to grow in recent years. What makes Shopee different to the others in order to attract more and more customers? In other words, which things from Shopee makes you proud?

That must be the Shopee application on mobile platform. Shopee, as widely known, started as an shopping online application on iOS and Android. We have invested a lot on the mobile application. Secondly, it is the hard effort of Shopee stuff solving the customers’ trust issue. And lastly, we try our best to stay close to the sellers by creating Shopee’s sellers community. Also Shopee stuff try to make sure our sellers happy working on our platform.

shopee the newcomer in vietnam e commerce market

What is Shopee’s strategy to continue to grow in Vietnam?

Right now, we focus on atracting more and more users on board. We want to make sure the market aware of us and get the market to try our shopping platform.

We have just launched Shopee 9.9 Online Shopping Day in few days ago and made new record with a 3.5 times increase in orders and a 5 times increase in daily visits, recorded an average of 21 minutes that shoppers spent on Shopee on 9.9. In collaboration with over 30,000 sellers, the event amassed a total of 88 live chats per second. Top 9.9 sellers enjoyed a significant increase in orders of up to 1,500 times their daily average, and the highest number of items purchased by a single buyer was 218.We hope it will be remembered as an iconic day which has helped to push forward Vietnam’s e-commerce scene.

Could you share some experience with Vietnam start-up companies and young people trying to build their own business?

The first thing should be hard-working attitude. The next one they should consider is the consistency which means they need to keep trying, keep working hard day after day. And the understanding of the market, obviously, is also an essential factor. All start-up companies have to face their own problems. Therefore, they should adequately define what the problem is and solve it.

Decision No. 1563/QD-TTg dated August 08, 2016 has been approved by the prime minister. Specifically, by the year of 2020, there will be: 30 percent of the population make online purchase with the total value of US$350 per person per year on average; 50 percent of enterprises have their own web portals where their products are introduced and sold; 80 percent of enterprises make or carry out orders via e-commerce applications; 100 percent of super markets, shopping malls and modern distribution establishments accept the payment via Point of Sale (POS) system and allow consumers to make non-cash payment when buying products; 70 percent of electricity, water, telecommunications and communications service providers accept the payment of bill via non-cash payment services 50 percent of individuals/households in big cities use non-cash payment media in daily consumption.

Nhat Quang