Vietnam is an increasingly attractive market for ecommerce, with a young, tech-savvy population and rapidly growing internet and smartphone penetration. However, the market also comes with its own unique considerations and challenges that foreign companies need to be aware of. Here is an overview of key things to know when selling online in Vietnam.
1. What makes eCommerce in Vietnam be one of the world's most attractive marketplaces?
Vietnam has a young population, with around 70% under the age of 35. This tech-savvy demographic is highly engaged in ecommerce and digital payments. The country also has a rapidly growing middle class with increasing purchasing power.
Booming internet and smartphone adoption
Internet and smartphone penetration in Vietnam has seen massive growth over the last decade. There are currently over 70 million internet users and around 50 million social media users in the country. Over 40% of the population uses smartphones, and mobile commerce is hugely popular.
The Vietnamese government has recognized the importance of ecommerce for economic growth. It has introduced policies aimed at developing ecommerce infrastructure and expanding internet access nationwide. Government initiatives like the "Buy Vietnamese Online" campaign are also creating awareness.
Increasing consumer trust
As global and local players expand their presence, Vietnamese consumers are gaining more trust in online shopping and digital payments. The market still has huge headroom for growth - online retail penetration is currently under 5% of total retail.
>>> Read more: Buy and sell in Vietnam - Explore the customer behavior
2. Top ecommerce platforms in Vietnam to sell online
Selling via popular local ecommerce platforms and marketplaces provides the fastest route to reaching Vietnam's online shoppers
The leading ecommerce platform, with over 1,6 billion downloads. It has a large merchant and buyer base attracting high traffic.
TikTok Shop is an emerging player in the Vietnamese e-commerce landscape, leveraging the popularity of the TikTok social media platform. With its unique approach, TikTok Shop allows sellers to promote and sell products directly through the Tik
A popular platform owned by Alibaba with a reputation for authentic imported and local products. It has high brand recognition in Vietnam.
A fast-growing local player known for its competitive pricing, wide assortment and innovative services like TikiNow fast delivery.
>>> Read more: Comparison of the top Vietnamese ecommerce sites
3. Localizing your products to sell in Vietnam
To succeed in Vietnam's distinctive market, foreign companies must adapt their ecommerce strategy and product mix to localize appropriately:
Product sourcing and customization
- Source from Vietnamese suppliers to control cost
- Offer locally popular product sizes/variants
- Cater to local tastes
>>> Read more: Top-selling items online in Vietnam in 2023
- Vietnamese are price-sensitive
- Use pricing tiers (good-better-best)
- Discount or price-match frequently
- Leverage flash sales, ,mega sale events to attract customers
- Support cash on delivery (about 50% of online sales)
- Offer installments for higher-priced items
- Activate local mobile wallet and bank transfer options
User experience and marketing
- Vietnamese language website and customer support
- Localized marketing content - promotions, ads, video
- Influencer marketing to drive awareness
Getting these product and commercial considerations right for your target Vietnamese customer segment is key to longer-term success.
4. Fulfillment and shipping in Vietnam
Delivering orders quickly, reliably and cost-effectively can determine failure or success for ecommerce merchants in Vietnam. Unique local dynamics shape fulfillment and shipping in this market.
Logistics infrastructure gaps
- Underdeveloped compared to other SEA markets
- Increasing investment, but issues still pose challenges
- Last mile delivery complexities to dense urban areas
- Lack of advanced logistics IT systems
- Shortage of modern, large-scale warehouse facilities
Delivery performance metrics
- Vietnamese consumers prioritize fast, free delivery
- 2-3 day delivery expectation for major cities
- Merchants compete on visible metrics like:
- On-time delivery
- First-attempt success rate
- Perfect order rate
Emerging fulfillment models
- In-house: Invest in warehousing, staff, vehicles
3PL partner: Outsource to local logistics providers
Choosing the right logistics strategy is an important early decision to cost-effectively scale nationwide delivery
5. Payment methods in Vietnam
Enabling preferred local payment methods is vital for converting online shoppers in Vietnam. Below are top options:
Cash on delivery
Still a popular option, though digital payments are rising. Cash on delivery provides user confidence but handling cash can be operationally challenging.
Bank account ownership is rising sharply in Vietnam. Bank transfers are a cost-effective payment method with relatively quick settlement.
Services like Momo, ZaloPay and ViettelPay are ubiquitous thanks to convenience and aggressive promotions. Charges tend to be higher than bank transfers though.
Usage is still limited but increasing among affluent consumers, particularly for international ecommerce. Enabling card payments is essential for tapping this group.
Offering at least 2-3 payment options suitable for your target customer profile is key to removing a crucial barrier at checkout.
6. Customer service and support in Vietnam
Consumers prefer native Vietnamese support. Providing excellent customer service with Vietnamese-speaking agents builds loyalty.
Quick response times
Vietnamese users expect fast responses to queries and issues. Delayed responses lead to dissatisfaction and churn.
User-friendly FAQs, chatbots and account management tools reduce customer support costs and enable 24/7 assistance.
Social media integration
Active social media presence provides an additional support channel. Monitoring social media perceptions is also important.
7. Ezbuy Japan helps foreign businesses successfully sell in Vietnam
Ezbuy Japan provides end-to-end solutions for overseas businesses to enter and grow in Vietnam's ecommerce industry. With advanced technology, expert local knowledge and comprehensive fulfillment capabilities, Ezbuy enables easy, effective market entry and expansion.
Key capabilities offered by Ezbuy Japan include:
In-depth expertise in localizing products, content and apps to suit Vietnamese consumer needs and preferences. This includes translation, marketing, advertising etc.
A unified ecommerce platform deeply integrated with major Vietnamese marketplaces, payments systems and logistics providers. Reduces time and effort to get up and running.
Fulfillment and delivery
Nationwide fulfillment infrastructure, with integrated warehousing and last-mile delivery for reliable and fast order processing.
On-ground operational support services in Vietnam like customer service, order and inventory management, local vendor management etc.
By leveraging Ezbuy Japan's Sell in Vietnam's service, overseas companies can launch and scale successfully in Vietnam's complex but high-potential ecommerce opportunity.
Vietnam's rapidly digitizing consumer market makes it an extremely attractive frontier for ecommerce. Key opportunities include favorable youth demographics, booming internet adoption, increasing consumer spending and supportive government policies.
However, the market's complexities in terms of language, payments, fulfillment and competitive intensity also need to be effectively addressed. As global interest continues rising, companies who invest in localizing well and navigate operational nuances smoothly will gain an edge. Partnering with established players like Ezbuy can pave the entry path for overseas brands aspiring to tap Vietnam's growth story