What is the state of Vietnam’s e-commerce industry?

Ly Pham
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While other industries consistently go through hype cycles, e-commerce still remains the most active, fruitful and important sectors in Southeast Asia’s digital economy. So, what is happening in Vietnam? Long considered the rising dragon of the region’s tech economy.

Three months ago, Jack Ma- Alibaba’s founder successfully signed a partnership between Alipay and NAPAS- the National Payment Corporation of Vietnam and local e-commerce portal Tiki received US$44M funding from JD.com- Alibaba competitor.

Just this week, Tiki landed another Series C investment making it a significant leader in the country’s e-commerce industry.

Last year, Zalora Vietnam officially changed to Robins Vietnam, after being bought by Central Group in 2016. On January 3rd, The Gioi Di Dong (Mobile World JSC) completed the acquisition of Tran Anh Digital World.

With Southeast Asia now the world third largest region for internet users, and with more people online than the entire US population, Vietnam as one of the fastest growing e-commerce market in the region had become the hot spot for international investment.

iPrice combined data from Google Trends, App Annie, and Socialbakers to analyse the performance of top e-commerce players in Vietnam in 2017. We used the following metrics for this analysis: Google search interest, iOS, and Google Play mobile shopping application rankings and Facebook popularity.

Also Read: JD.com co-leads Series C investment in Vietnamese B2C e-commerce platform Tiki

Here’s the summary of our findings:

  1. Lazada dominates in all verticals while Shopee emerged as the fastest growing e-commerce platform.
  2. Shopee become leading shopping app within a year of operation
  3. 4 out of 5 most popular e-commerce fan page are dominated by local players

The most search e-commerce platforms

Data from Google Trends between Jan 1st and Dec 16th  2017, showed that Lazada search interest dominates all other e-commerce companies. Lazada is the leading e-commerce player in term of monthly traffic, according to iPrice Map of E-commerce findings.

The Gioi Di Dong, a leading Vietnamese electronics re-seller, experienced a sudden rise in search interest during Lunar New Year. There is a high demand for electronics products such as smartphone and tablet during this holiday shopping season.

Shopee entered the Vietnam market in June 2016 and it already makes it to the list of the five most search e-commerce startups in Vietnam. Shopee search interest increased significantly during online sale event 11.11 and 12.12, originally introduced by Lazada.

Local e-commerce merchants like Sendo and Tiki also enjoyed double search interest on Q4/2017. Those local players are catching up with regional firms in the year-end online sales event like 11.11 and 12.12. Nevertheless, with current funding from JD.com, Tiki.vn should see significantly faster growth in 2018.

Most popular shopping apps in Vietnam in 2017

In Southeast Asia, Vietnamese users spend the 2nd highest amount of their time online, after Singapore. Up to 95 per cent of Vietnamese are mobile active and with 78 per cent of them own a smartphone, according to Mobile E-commerce Report by Nielsen. 79 per cent of Vietnamese consumers use mobile apps or website to search for product information.

Shopee has come to win this market, becoming the most popular shopping app after two quarters. In Q1, Lazada was the leading shopping app in Vietnam for both Android and iOS. However, in Q3 and Q4, Shopee edged out their competitor to take the leading role.

One company to watch is Lotte, which was launched in Q4 2016 and already ranks among the top 5 shopping apps in Vietnam.

Local shopping apps like Sendo and The Gioi Di Dong are the only Vietnamese apps that can compete with regional competitors.

Most popular e-commerce stores on Facebook

Vietnam has one of the highest penetration rates of social media, at 48 per cent and 46 million monthly active Facebook users, according to Digital 2017 report by Wearesocial and Hootsuite.

The report also indicates that Facebook is the most active social media platform in Vietnam with 51 per cent of internet users being on Facebook.

Our current findings show that Lazada has the highest number of Facebook followers in Vietnam. Other local Vietnamese merchants dominate the rest of top 5.

Dien May Xanh- a brand from The Gioi Di Dong — has a fan page with the highest interaction per fan, due to its award-winning social marketing campaign. Dien May Xanh’s commercial video become the second most viewed advertising video on Youtube in Asia in November 2016.

Brands are also active in influencer marketing sphere, with almost all of the top players having celebrity endorsements. Lazada is endorsed by Toc Tien, Son Tung MTP is the brand ambassador for Shopee and Tiki collaborated with Chi Pu.

Our methodology

Most searched e-commerce platforms: Using Google Trends, the findings were collated by analyzing search interest from January 1st 2017 until December 16, 2017 in Vietnam. The data was collated by comparing the search interest between the following keywords: Lazada, The Gioi Di Dong, Shopee, Sendo, and Tiki.

Also Read: Inside Taizo Son’s plan to power up Southeast Asia’s tech ecosystem

Most popular mobile shopping app: The top mobile shopping applications in Vietnam were collated by averaging their rankings on a quarterly basis using App Annie’s Google Play data and Apple Store data.

Most popular e-commerce platform on Facebook: The data set was provided by Socialbakers.

Copyright: dimaberkut / 123RF Stock Photo

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