E-commerce platforms growing fatter from pandemic

21:54 | 24/03/2020
Instead of visiting crowded stores, people now use e-commerce platforms for their shopping needs during the global pandemic.
e commerce platforms growing fatter from epidemic
While online shopping enjoys growing popularity during the epidemic, demand is not even across e-commerce platforms and goods categories

According to a survey of Nielsen Vietnam and Infocus Mekong Mobile Panel, 25 per cent of the respondents said that they prefer online shopping to direct shopping.

“I used to go to the supermarket or wet market, but due to the COVID-19 epidemic, I and my family shop and pay online to stay safe,” a customer said.

In addition to ordering food via apps, white-collar workers have changed to online shopping for their fashion needs, instead of visiting stores as before.

Besides dried or processed food, demand for fresh food like meat and vegetables on online channels has also been rising. “The number of online shoppers on the VinID platform has tripled over the usual. In addition to shopping, customers can also pay for utilities with the VinID e-wallet,” Mai Lan Van, marketing director of VinID said.

Tran Vu Khanh Duy, owner of Hesa food store, said that 70 per cent of their customers make orders online now and pay by card.

According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, due to the COVID-19 epidemic, while the revenue of wet markets in Hanoi fell by 50-80 per cent, the revenue of e-commerce channels rose by 20-30 per cent during the health crisis.

However, against the excitement of VinID, Tran Tuan Anh, managing director of Shopee, told media that, “We have yet to see any relationship between the epidemic and the increase of online purchases.”

Statistics from SimilarWeb showed that traffic on the four e-commerce giants Shopee, Tiki, Lazada, and Sendo in the first two months of 2020 reduced by 14 per cent on-year, by twice as much as in the previous year.

According to Nguyen Ngoc Dung, vice chairman of the Vietnam E-commerce Association (VECOM), online shopping is preferred during the epidemic, but this growth is lopsided, with a strong focus on essential commodities. The general purchasing power of the economy is on a downtrend, and numerous goods categories on e-commerce platforms are following this trend because people are tightening their purse strings during the epidemic.

Essential commodities during the epidemic like masks and hand wash recorded vibrant transactions. On Tiki.vn, as of last week, the most popular products were masks, wet wipes, and air purifiers, recording thousands of orders every minute. The demand for these goods increased by 15 per cent compared to the last two months of 2019.

This is a common situation on every e-commerce platform. The demand for essential commodities and medical supplies is rising sharply across the market, according to Lazada.vn, with demand skyrocketing by 160 per cent for sanitisers, 60 per cent for tissues and wet wipes, and 50 per cent for canned and packed foodstuff.  

A representative of Lazada.vn said that demand for online shopping will continue growing in Vietnam, and they are trying to create a new experience for customers. "We are working with some new brands and vendors to diversify supply resources and products in order to better meet the demands of customers," he said.

During the epidemic, Lazada.vn has launched the campaigns "safe shopping from home", offering numerous hot deals and entertainment activities for customers.

By Nguyen Huong

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