A third of Vietnamese set to shop online by 2020

By VnExpress   October 30, 2016 | 11:00 am PT
A third of Vietnamese set to shop online by 2020
Customers use wireless devices at a coffee shop in downtown Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo by AFP/Hoang Dinh Nam
Mobile savvy shoppers are forecast to spend $10 billion a year online by 2020.

The online shopping trend is growing so rapidly in Vietnam that it is forecast 30 percent of the population will be buying goods and services over the internet by 2020, according to the Vietnam E-Commerce and Information Technology Agency (VECITA) under the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

The agency estimated that each shopper will spend an average of $350 per year, which means online spending will total $9.76 billion.

Revenue from online retail is expected to account for 5 percent of total nationwide revenue from sales of goods and services in 2020, up from only 2.8 percent last year, VECITA said.

Last year, Vietnamese consumers spent about $4.07 billion shopping online, a jump of 37 percent from the previous year, the 2015 Report on Vietnam E-commerce showed.

However, the country's e-commerce market is comparatively small in Asia, with China hitting $617 billion, South Korea $39 billion and India $14 billion.

“E-commerce in Vietnam is growing exponentially. Revenue from online retail is expected to to hit $10 billion by 2020, accounting for 5 percent of the total nationwide revenue from the sales of goods and services,” said Lai Viet Anh, VECITA’s deputy head, at a workshop in Hanoi.

“We are working to boost business-to-business cross-border e-commerce to as high as 30 percent of total import and export trade by 2020,” Viet Anh added.

According to Internet World Stats, Vietnam is currently ranked 18th in the world in terms of the number of internet users, with more than 54 percent of the population online.

Mobile subscription rates in Vietnam have doubled over the past five years and now 4 out of 10 people are active users.

In an attempt to boost e-commerce, Vietnam is trying to convince 50 percent of local enterprises to set up online stores and 80 percent to do business through e-commerce platforms, according to the government’s e-commerce development plan for 2016-2020.

In order to increase non-cash transactions, Vietnam will require all supermarkets, shopping malls and convenience stores to accept payments via credit and debit cards.

The country also wants around 70 percent of utility service providers, including telecommunications companies and electricity and water suppliers, to move their billings online.

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