The exciting e-commerce market at the end of the year

17:03 | 29/12/2021 Information Technology

Vietnam, like many other countries around the world, has suffered economic losses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic in the second half of 2021. However, entering the peak season at the end of the year – when the whole country entered a “New Normal”, purchasing power on e-commerce still showed many positive signs of economic recovery, creating development momentum for 2022.  

Online shopping power increases in both urban and rural areas

According to the research “SYNC Southeast Asia” by Facebook and Bain & Company, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a paradigm shift in the consumer shopping journey. Accordingly, the way Vietnamese consumers shop has undergone a great change, with online channels playing an increasingly larger role in each stage of the shopping journey, including Awareness, Research and Purchase, as shown in the corresponding online channel usage rates of 81%, 84% and 56% respectively, which is much higher than the rate of using direct channels. Furthermore, the number of categories of goods purchased online by Vietnamese consumers has increased by 50%, while the number of online stores purchased has also increased by 40%, resulting in a 1.5 times increase in total online retail nationwide spending compared to 2020.

For example, the online shopping day “Online Friday 2021”, which took place in early December, has attracted millions of users to participate in shopping with millions of products at attractive prices. This is the biggest event in 2021 about e-commerce, starting the year-end shopping season in Vietnam, coordinated by the Ministry of Industry and Trade with Government agencies, People’s Committees of provinces and cities, associations and infrastructure development enterprises accompanying and organizing. Previously, within the framework of online shopping day, there was also an online shopping week from November 27 to December 5, attracting millions of users to participate.

According to the statistics from J&T Express, an international express delivery brand, the number of orders in November – one of the peak months of the year-end shopping season with Mega Days on 11/11 and Black Friday – has increased sharply compared to the same period in 2020. The number of orders has grown, no longer concentrated in big cities but also in most of the provinces across the country. This shows that the number of buyers and sellers in provinces outside big cities has increased over the same period last year.

Previously, a survey conducted by Facebook and GroupM Vietnam showed that among Internet users in rural areas, 46% (about 30 million people) have participated in online shopping activities. The report also predicts that the monthly cost of FMCG in rural areas will increase by an average of 7% annually from 2020 to 2025, faster than in tier 1 urban areas (4%). Since then, the report says that over 70% of the categories still have the opportunity to increase the number of consumers in rural areas compared to tier 1 urban areas.

Welcome the wave of the year-end shopping season

The research “SYNC Southeast Asia” also shows that shopping festivals (Mega Sales Days – MSD) are considered an opportunity to help the Vietnamese economy in general and businesses in particular recover after the pandemic. Especially, after a long period of social distancing, the 2022 Lunar New Year is expected to explode across the country as consumers tend to increase spending and shop for Tet earlier than usual. At the same time, e-commerce is gradually becoming a familiar channel chosen by many people, with 79% of those surveyed saying that they have purchased online during Tet 2021 and 90% of people affirming that they will consider shopping online in the future.

This is considered an opportunity for small, medium, and micro enterprises to promote sales through e-commerce channels in order to achieve breakthrough growth in sales at the end of the year. Along with promotions, businesses should look for e-commerce platforms to help speed up order confirmation, as well as choose reputable logistics units for quality assurance and to maximize customer service experience. For example, J&T Express has been applying information technology to the transportation of goods, ensuring smooth, fast and accurate delivery. In addition, ensuring the safety of shippers and customers is also a focus during this time through strict implementation of 5K measures, shippers wearing a badge confirming “I am vaccinated against Covid-19” and disinfecting goods carefully. With a network of 36 operation centers and more than 1,900 post offices across 63 provinces, J&T Express said the business is ready to bring customers smooth service experiences during this peak shopping season.

Nguyen Phuong