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Vietnam’s e-commerce expects massive growth

Vietnam’s e-commerce expects massive growth

Tuesday 30, 11 2021
The e-commerce segment in Vietnam currently ranks fourth in size among the Southeast Asian countries. However, there exist possibilities for Vietnam to surpass Malaysia and Thailand to claim the second spot in the region.

Vietnam’s e-commerce market: Promising growth

The e-Economy SEA 2021 report prepared by Google, Temasek, and Bain & Company shows that the Southeast Asia internet economy is expected to reach 363 billion USD by 2025, and Vietnam's number is anticipated to reach 220 billion USD in gross merchandise value (GMV) by 2030, ranking second in the region after Indonesia.

e-Economy SEA 2021

This report also said that in 2021, Vietnam's digital economy is expected to grow 31% to 21 billion USD thanks to 53% growth in e-commerce compared to the same period last year despite the tourism market online shrinking. It is predicted that e-commerce in Vietnam will continue to reach 57 billion USD by 2025.

Certain factors help ensure a positive outlook for e-commerce in Vietnam. Firstly, there is room for growth in Vietnam. The biggest advantage to expanding the scale of Vietnam's e-commerce is the population. Compared to the number 2 market, Thailand, the growth potential thanks to the large scale of Vietnamese consumers is still quite large. The e-Economy SEA 2021 report shows that Vietnam has added 8 million new digital consumers since the pandemic in 2020, while Thailand has another 9 million. However, the proportion of the Vietnamese population that has not participated in the digital economy is up to 29.3%, while that of Thailand is 10.1%.

The second factor is the excitement of Vietnam's market. According to experts, said excitement is caused by many factors, such as the Vietnamese love of technology, the abundance of participating platforms, etc. Social distancing because of COVID-19 is also contributing to the acceleration of e-commerce.

The third-quarter report released by iPrice Group on November 25 said that the average total number of visits to the top 10 Vietnamese e-commerce sites was twice that of Thailand and nearly three times that of Malaysia in the last quarter.

In addition, in the region, Vietnamese are only inferior to Malaysians in the level of interaction via Facebook with e-commerce sites, with a rate of 36% compared to 44%. Meanwhile, Thai people are the lowest in the region in terms of this interaction (20%). Napoleon Cat said that 81% of the Vietnamese population has Facebook, as of October 2021. That shows the very high excitement of the Vietnamese market.

The third factor is growth rate - an advantage formed from the excitement of the current market. Google and Temasek calculate that the compound annual growth rate of Vietnam's e-commerce in the period 2021-2025 will be the fastest in the region, with 35%. The rates of Indonesia, Thailand, and Malaysia are 18%, 14%, and 8%, respectively.


Finally, Vietnam's e-commerce can also be massive in parts that cannot be fully assessed. The "e-Economy SEA 2021" report admits its figures only calculate the size of “formal e-commerce”, i.e., transactions recorded through professional online retail platforms.

Meanwhile, users also exchange, buy and sell directly through communities, chat groups, personal pages on social networks, or messaging applications. That is temporarily called "informal e-commerce".

Digitalization contributes to the positive outlook

The annual SYNC Southeast Asia report of Facebook and Bain & Company published on November 15 showed that Vietnam is at the forefront of driving change and seizing development opportunities based on digital transformation in the post-pandemic period.

The study surveyed about 16,700 digital consumers and more than 20 senior personnel in 6 Southeast Asian countries, including 3,579 survey participants from Vietnam.

The study describes Southeast Asia as a leader in digital transformation in the Asia-Pacific and Vietnam as one of the top performers.

The number of categories of goods purchased by Vietnamese online shoppers in 2021 increased by 50% compared to 2020, while the number of online stores in Vietnam also increased by 40% over the same period last year, leading to total online retail sales nationwide increase by 1.5 times.

About 49% of Vietnamese consumers switched to online shopping within the past three months due to the attractiveness of price incentives, product quality, and the availability of goods.


For the first time, payments using cash are at risk of being dethroned, with a significant reduction from 60% in 2020 to only 42% in 2021. Safety, privacy, and service fees are the three relationships that are the main concern of Vietnamese consumers when considering different types of payment.

In 2021, Vietnamese people spend most of their time using social networks, texting, watching videos, shopping online and sending emails because 72% of their time is at home instead of going out.

The speedy digitalization will contribute to the forecast that Vietnam’s e-commerce market will become the fastest-growing e-commerce market in Southeast Asia by 2026, with a total GMV reaching 56 billion USD, 4.5 times the value estimated in 2021.


Compiled by VietnamCredit

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