Local e-commerce sites win the hearts of Vietnam's shoppers

By Ha Phuong   September 29, 2017 | 08:09 am GMT+7

Eight out of the 10 most visited e-commerce sites in Vietnam are locally based, but number one spot goes to Lazada.

Online shoppers in Vietnam are showing a growing preference for local retailers, according to a new report released by iPrice, an e-commerce platform available in seven countries across Southeast Asia.

Eight out of the 10 most commonly visited e-commerce sites in the country are locally-based firms, the report found.

The only two foreign representatives to appear in the top 10 are Alibaba-owned Lazada and Singapore-based Shopee, who are both expanding their operations across Southeast Asia.

Despite dominating the top 10, domestic retailers still lost out on number one spot to Lazada, which attracts 41 million visitors per month. Vietnamese giant The gioi di dong came in second with 32 million visits, followed by Sendo with 24 million. Shopee came in eighth, generating traffic of 7.6 million a month.

Vietnam's e-commerce sector has been blossoming in recent years, growing at 22 percent annually. Unsurprisingly, competition in the sector is fierce, and some foreign players have already felt the heat.

American e-commerce platform Ebay has been unable to compete with local firms, while Singapore's Zalora recently called it a day in Vietnam.  

The report, compiled in April and June this year, compared 50 e-commerce merchants currently operating in Vietnam based on monthly visits, application downloads and social media followers.

In the apps race, The Gioi Di Dong outnumbered its competitors with five million installed, five times more than each of Sendo, Lozi and Shopee.

When it came to the number of Facebook followers, Lazada and Shopee outpaced their Vietnamese peers. Lazada now has around 17.5 million followers while Shopee has 2.4 million.

Online sales in Vietnam have expanded rapidly in recent years, currently accounting for 3.39 percent of the country’s retail market. The total retail market grew 10.2 percent last year to $118 billion, mainly fueled by a growing middle-class with expanding disposable incomes and an increasing number of internet users.

Fabrice Carrasco, managing director of Kantar Worldpanel for Vietnam and the Philippines, predicted that e-commerce in Vietnam will grow more than fivefold by 2020 on the back of widespread smartphone usage and increasing demand for consumer convenience.