E-commerce platforms cater to large groceries demand in Vietnam

By Vien Thong   September 8, 2021 | 04:10 am PT
E-commerce platforms cater to large groceries demand in Vietnam
A Lazada employee scans a package's barcode. Photo courtesy of Lazada
Leading e-commerce platforms in Vietnam saw bigger demand for groceries, including fresh foodstuffs and beverages, in the second quarter of this year, a market research firm says.

Google searches for keywords relating to online grocery stores in the second quarter of this year surged 223 percent against the first quarter, Malaysia-based market research firm iPrice Group said. Searches for fresh foodstuff, drinks, pre-packaged items, and fruits and vegetables rose 99 percent, 51 percent, 30 percent and 11 percent, respectively.

According to a second quarter e-commerce report by, online grocery has been the only goods segment with continuous growth since the pandemic broke out.

When HCMC started applying social distancing rules in early July, demand for buying groceries online increased sharply. E-commerce platform Lazada Vietnam sold 120,000 fresh milk cartons in the first three hours of July 7, and 10,000 poultry eggs in the first 12 hours of the day.

According to iPrice researchers, the surge in searches for online grocery stores and supermarkets is linked to the social distancing regulations imposed by municipal and provincial authorities. Retail sales of essential goods will also go online rapidly, they said.

The higher demand for groceries prompted e-commerce platform Tiki to open fresh groceries stalls (September 2) that would deliver the products within three hours in Hanoi.

To lure more customers, online shopping platforms have held shoppertainment (shopping in combination with entertainment) activities since early July. Lazada and Shopee have launched online mini-game contests and music shows, and conducted more livestream sales in combination with recreational activities.

Lazada’s livestream channel reported that its daily views in the second quarter of this year rose 2.5 times over the same period last year. Shopee said the number of Shopee Live users in the first half of this year surged over 200 percent on-year.

Online payment and shopping platform MoMo attracted eight million players in one month after organizing a game contest with prizes totaling VND10 billion (nearly $435,000). "We will continue to organize similar programs," said co-founder and vice chairman Nguyen Ba Diep.

According to rankings complied by iPrice Group and Israel-based digital intelligence provider SimilarWeb, Lazada Vietnam saw its website visits in the second quarter of this year increase 14 percent against the first quarter to 20.4 million, ranking second after Shopee. Shopee ranked the first for the 12 quarters, with 73 million web visits in the second quarter, up 9.2 million visits against the previous one.

Among e-commerce platforms in Vietnam, Lazada and Shopee have been the most active in terms of shoppertainment events in recent months. They are expected to host more such programs on September 9, the super shopping day.

The visits to top 50 shopping websites in Vietnam in the first half of this year totaled over 1.3 billion, the highest number so far. Specifically, web visits in the second quarter rose 10 percent over the first.

According to Facebook and Bain & Company’s annual Southeast Asia report, Vietnam’s e-commerce sales is expected to increase from an estimated $12 billion in 2021 to $56 billion in 2026, ranking second in the region after Indonesia.

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