E-commerce platforms bank on year’s biggest sales event

By Vien Thong   November 11, 2021 | 01:23 am PT
E-commerce platforms bank on year’s biggest sales event
A person makes purchases using a credit card. Photo by Shutterstock/Thicha Satapitanon
Nov. 11 has become the biggest shopping event of the year in Vietnam as e-commerce giants throw big bucks into promotions, seeking to entrench the online shopping habit among locals.

Shopee Vietnam has announced that this Nov. 11 would be its "biggest shopping event ever" with up to 50 percent discounts in 25 categories.

There will be free shipping and apartments to give away.

The Singapore-headquartered company has seen its number of merchants and brands rising 60 percent this year, said Managing Director Tran Tuan Anh.

Lazada plans to double its voucher numbers from last year, offering more than 10 million products at a price discount of over 50 percent.

Local companies Sendo and Tiki are also active, with the former having partnered with payment company Smartpay to lend customers added options.

In the first eight months, Sendo has seen its ratio of orders paid digitally rising 50 percent.

Tiki has recently secured singer Ha Anh Tuan as the brand’s representative for the Nov. 11 craze.

Some other internet economy companies like MoMo, Grab, Be and Baemin are also offering promotions.

This shows that Nov. 11 has become the biggest online shopping event in Vietnam as e-commerce firms take advantage of China’s Single’s Day, which originated a decade ago.

‘Double days’ (referring to Oct. 10, Nov. 11 and the likes), are key shopping periods in Vietnam even amid the Covid-19 pandemic, said Steven Tuan Nguyen, Criteo’s senior manager and market lead in Southeast Asia.

Last year, online retail sales on Nov. 11 in Vietnam rose 378 percent year-on-year, the highest growth rate compared to other major shopping dates like Nov. 12, Oct. 10 and Black Friday, according to marketing solutions company Criteo.

From midnight to 2 a.m. on Nov. 11 last year, Lazada sold 20,000 smartphones, 3,000 TVs, and 50,000 food coupons, with the number of items being put into "carts" doubling year-on-year.

Tiki saw sales rising 50 percent from the Oct. 10 event one month earlier.

On Shopee, a fashion brand recorded an unprecedented revenue of over VND2 billion in the same day.

Insiders say big shopping events like these provide an opportunity for companies to compete.

Andrew Maher, Vietnam director and country head for business transformation consultancy TMX, said some key factors in winning the race is communications and interaction.

In the same day last year, Lazada reached over 8.6 million people, while Shopee, using influencers on social media, received over 222,000 likes and nearly 13,000 comments.

Maher said people’s expectations and standards in online shopping will rise as they grow familiar with using technology to shop, which is something that e-commerce companies need to pay attention to.

Vietnam’s Internet economy is expected to grow by 31 percent to $21 billion this year despite little or no contribution from the online travel market.

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