Online purchases in Vietnam double over the past year

16:00 | 11/12/2012
E-commerce is booming and making its presence felt in Vietnam with online purchases doubling in many categories over the past year.

According to the findings of the latest Visa e-Commerce Consumer Monitor Research 2012, Vietnamese are rapidly embracing online shopping. This trend can be attributed both to heavy use of the internet and also growing confidence in online security measures.

The Visa APCEMEA E-commerce Consumer Monitor Research 2012 is an online survey conducted by TNS from March to June 2012. The survey asked over 8,000 respondents from eight countries around the world (Hong Kong, Korea, Japan, Singapore, Vietnam, Russia, the Philippines and South Africa) about their online payment attitudes and behavior. Respondents were internet users (accessing internet at least once a week), aged 18-55 years old, selected based on a soft quota taking into consideration age, gender and annual household income.

The internet has become an integral part of daily life for most Vietnamese. Surveys show that Vietnam’s internet usage is roughly on par with the global average, with 67 per cent of users going online daily (68 per cent globally). This has helped to create a suitable environment for e-commerce to grow.

According to Visa’s research, 98 per cent of respondents in Vietnam have browsed online for products and services in the past 12 months and 71 per cent of them actually made online purchases within this period. Some 90 per cent of respondents say they will continue to do so in the future.

Another factor that has contributed to the growth of e-commerce in Vietnam is the higher level of security measures. Around 70 per cent of consumers who have shopped online in the past year said that the improved level of security persuaded them to shop more online.
A majority of respondents (83 per cent) reported that they felt far more confident in the system. Top reasons cited as contributing to more secure online transactions include online payment security features such as Verified by Visa and security around personal and financial information upheld by financial institutions and online merchants. All these factors have combined to bolster consumer confidence in the online system.

With this momentum as a driver, the coming year is likely to see e-commerce gain even greater acceptance. There is huge potential for this growth in Vietnam. Around 60 per of local businesses still do not have online payment acceptance capabilities and only about 20 per cent of Vietnamese have bank accounts.

Areas that have witnessed a boom in e-commerce include the health and wellness sector which has seen online payments surge from 4 per cent to 11 per cent over the past twelve months. Other growth areas include baby care products, fashion and household electronics.

The advent of smartphones and 3G networking has also created an avenue for e-commerce growth. The survey shows 39 per cent of respondents use mobile devices to browse for products and services online. Popular categories include bill payment (14 per cent) as well as online gaming and digital content (13 per cent). Armed with a smartphone and a payment card, consumers can browse products and services anytime, anywhere. They can also make online purchases with ease.

Lorijon Bacchi, country manager for Visa in Vietnam, said: “At Visa, we value the importance of e-commerce in emerging markets such as Vietnam. As an international electronic payments technology leader, Visa is committed to assist in the growth of e-commerce by providing an online payment solution with advanced security features like Verified by Visa (VbV).”

“VbV is a free, simple-to-use service that confirms consumers’ identities with an extra password when they make an online transaction. Our survey shows that the enhancement in online security has certainly had a positive impact on online sales. Some 85 per cent of respondents said that the use of VbV enhances their positive perceptions in the security of a merchant’s website. More than half of the respondents also said they would increase their shopping if security features such as VbV were implemented on websites. Visa is looking forward to giving more local consumers a convenient and safe online shopping experience.”

Recently, Visa partnered with as part of Visa’s efforts to raise interest in online shopping among local consumers. This service provides access to US stores for Visa cardholders in Vietnam through its personal shipping service, including some that do not ship internationally or accept non-US payment cards.

“Online shopping has opened up the global market. Visa hopes to make online shopping part of a consumers’ life because it is not only convenient but it is also secured. In addition, cardholders can take advantage of offers that will increase their savings even more,” Lorijon Bacchi said.

By Hoang Anh

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