According to the General Statistics Office of Vietnam, in the first quarter, sales of F&B, hotel and tourism services decreased by 9.6% and 27.8%, respectively. CBRE Vietnam's data also showed that the number of visitors to shopping centers decreased by about 80% in both Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi during the epidemic outbreak. In the context of declining offline shopping revenue, e-commerce and online shopping have become the salvage of many retail businesses, according to the research firm.
CBRE data also shows the bustling race between existing e-commerce platforms and newcomers in late April. Accordingly, during the outbreak, Tiki set a record with 4,000 orders / minute. Online sales of SpeedL and Saigon Co.op also increased exponentially. On the other hand, the ride-hailing platform Grab has also quickly activated the 'GrabMart' service to serve the shopping needs of customers at home.
This research firm said that in the Asia Pacific market, multi-channel sales and online retailing sales of consumer products, cosmetics, luxury goods or even services such as sightseeing, museums, tours, real estate performed well during the outbreak. In the long run, the development of e-commerce will be a solid foundation for the retail industry.
Ms. Vo Thi Phuong Mai, Deputy Director - Head of Retail Services of CBRE Vietnam, said: "The Covid-19 epidemic has negatively impacted visitor traffic, but at the same time, it has created many opportunities for growth of small and medium-sized businesses such as convenience stores, pharmacies and especially e-commerce. E-commerce is transforming to support stores during the epidemic outbreak. Multi-channel sales will be more flexible and may even outperform after the Covid-19 epidemic is under control".
AT Kearney believes that Vietnam's retail market is one of the world's most exciting markets. There are many figures and development trends making domestic and foreign retailers see the attractiveness and great opportunities in this market. Vietnam's economic growth is among the highest in the region. The size of the Vietnamese population is nearly 100 million people, with a young population and increasing income. The rapid urbanization rate has created new shopping and consumption trends, especially in modern shopping spaces.
"The epidemic has affected people's income. Total demand can be reduced, and the supply is likely to decrease as well. It is important for those who can survive to prepare a plan to stand up and run fast to the future." said Nguyen Duc Tai - president of Mobile World, Vietnam's largest retail chain, at an investor meeting in early April.
Under the pressure of Covid-19, many businesses in the retail industry have rushed to adapt. Being a traditional retail giant established in 1996, Saigon Co.op is a typical example of quick adaptation as it has shifted to multi-channel sales such as television retail, applying Scan & Go, and shaking hands with MoMo in recent years.
Nielsen’s research "COVID-19- Where are consumers going?" recently said Vietnam is in the top 3 out of 11 countries and territories following the trend of home cooking with a rate of 62%, following China (86%) and Hong Kong (77%).
This trend presents a huge opportunity for retailers and manufacturers. Nielsen Vietnam believes that the shift to home eating will maintain until the post-Covid-19 period. This trend creates new opportunities for manufacturers, retailers, restaurants and food delivery companies to rethink about health services, ensuring that their products meet satisfaction on the growing need for health, quality and friendliness.
For retailers, deep exploitation of online channels, taking advantage of delivery channels, developing more O2O services (Offline to online) and promoting multi-channel integration will attract consumers in the future.
"We also determined to take advantage of Covid-19 to further accelerate the digital transformation process that PNJ began in late 2017. Indeed, Covid-19 has made us run faster." said Le Tri Thong, CEO of jewelry retail chain PNJ.
>> E-commerce – the life saver of Vietnam’s retail industry