Having a large market share worldwide, Amazon takes a powerful attraction when targeting the Vietnamese market. The Amazon presence carries out both opportunities and challenges for the e-business in Vietnam. Since then, there have been plenty of opinions assuming that Amazon aims at stimulating the market competition among Alibaba (Lazada), JD.com (Tiki), or Shopee (an ecommerce giant from Singapore).

1. The growth of e-business in Vietnam

One of the factors stimulating e-business growth is the high demand for the internet, in which Vietnam is the top-country in terms of internet users. Therefore, online selling has a fast-growing rate with impressive recorded statistics and contributes to the country’s market economy in many ways. The following is the large-scale blooming of e-business in Vietnam.

Besides, online businesses can easily access the market while just using about 1/10 of the marketing channels’ cost. Low advertising costs have increased the popularity of online sales, which grows not only on the domestic scale but also globally.

ecommerce growth for e-business in Vietnam
Impressive recorded statistics have shown the blooming era of ecommerce

Since 2016, e-businesses in Vietnam have undergone significant breakthroughs by cooperating with international partners, making businesses participate in the e-business market, and marking the premise for the outstanding growth of e-businesses at present.

2. Opportunities for e-business in Vietnam when Amazon enters the market

The Amazon penetration into the Vietnam market has come up with new opportunities for a huge community of e-business in Vietnam. The country has a strong potential for traditional handicrafts, which are considered unique and ideal for selling online. With that strength, Vietnam will promote domestic products to international markets at competitive prices.

Under the support of Amazon Global Selling, Vietnam brands can integrate with international e-markets with significant growth, which is a step toward the digital economy in Vietnam.

Vietnam has expertise in producing goods, so Amazon Global Selling’s participation meaningfully contributes to accelerating the market-expanding process for both international partners and consumers. That contribution can boost the working process for Vietnamese businesses and the ecommerce market share of the economy.

3. Challenges from the penetration

Besides wide-open opportunities, e-business in Vietnam quite faces significant challenges from the Amazon advent. Firstly, Amazon makes domestic ecommerce in the face of fierce competition. The Vietnam market had welcomed Alibaba previously. Nevertheless, it was not overly ambitious because large enterprises had their proven capability in this field, namely Shopee, Tiki, Sendo. However, the long-term race invisibly extends a boundary for SMEs to cross over or get close to the same level.

amazon's penetration
The penetration not only brings the opportunities, but challenges

Secondly, publishing products in the international ecommerce field increases expenses. The more giants join the ecommerce game, the more earnestly and competitively the race of spending money becomes. However, plenty of e-businesses focus on the spending process of selling 1 billion dollars of goods without having correct forecasts on long-term expenses. In the long run, over-spending will require more investment, affecting the bottom-line growth, namely the businesses’ net profits.

On the other hand, the origin and quality of goods need to be guaranteed. Regarding the current ecommerce market in Vietnam, fake or counterfeit products have not been solved thoroughly up to now. As a result, selling on Amazon will face restrictions if businesses can not control their goods’ quality. Simultaneously, it requires policies from the government to promote ethical businesses within the Vietnamese economy.

In general, Amazon has created a new breeze for e-business in Vietnam. It plays a vital role in stimulating market competitiveness, improving product quality, and user experience for great customer-oriented support. However, to do that, businesses need to have the right strategies in addressing challenges and difficulties to shorten the cooperation process with both partners and international customers.

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How AI transforms the ecommerce experience?
Do you think one day you can command Siri to do an online order in minutes or buy a shirt with just a picture taken by accident while driving on the road? Those are some examples that artificial intelligence (or AI) can bring to the ecommerce future. Since AI has been leveraged for optimizing and enriching the ecommerce experience, the user community has become more proactive when purchasing a product on the internet. Customers gradually have greater confidence in the quality of products and ecommerce services as they can interact much more easily and quickly thanks to the AI applications in every selected product.

1. How customers experience products in traditional shopping

Traditional shopping refers to the way customers directly buy products at stores, markets, or supermarkets. Since that trading model has emerged, the ecommerce experience about products has often originated from direct product-observation and -interaction. A consumer can hold and touch the item directly, feeling its characteristics, such as hardness, softness, size, or even color. They can quickly try one dress and exchange another one for a suitable size. This model has several benefits for shoppers:

  • Guarantee of product quality: Customers have the opportunity to interact and observe the product directly before buying. At that time, customers can choose a product with complete packaging, favorite colors, or delicious fresh food, or a skirt of a suitable length.
  • Time-saving in return and exchange policy: The traditional purchase is rooted in the amicable sale principle. Of course, the buyers will be partly responsible for goods quality due to the opportunity to touch and inspect them before buying.
  • High-satisfaction level: Customers tend to be more enthusiastic and get more exciting feelings when using products. They will not put too much doubt on the reliability of the product.
traditional shopping before transforming to ecommerce experience
This face-to-face buying assists shoppers to check the goods mostly

The benefits of experiencing products with traditional models will have many changes in online shopping models. Although customers will enjoy the convenience of freely choosing a suitable item in a wide range of goods at more bargained prices and also experience regular promotions, the limited interaction with the product pre-buying has reduced the convenience as the traditional model did before.

2. AI invention penetrating process to optimize the ecommerce experience

With the rapid development of the digital age, customer demand is a critical factor that is a priority in every development strategy and orientation. In particular, businesses also invest more in modern technologies to optimize consumer-product interaction, and AI applications are a useful option for ecommerce experience optimization process.

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AI is a great supporter for users to experience the product fully

Within the Ecommerce field, AI aims to the product experience, contributing to the efficiency of the business’s customer-centric orientation. The AI application has been integrated into search engine systems to support the creative and effective searching process with features such as “search by image” associating with material, shape, size, or brand. The display technology also invests in improving product interaction, shortening the distance between online and offline models.

Moreover, AI supports the ecommerce industry as a knowledgeable online assistant. This technology can bring two-way benefits when supporting both user experience and data analysis about user behavior trends.

Those are the two factors motivating brands to invest in developing more modern and efficient AI platforms towards a smarter, automated model for perfect customer experience.

3. AI trends for smarter ecommerce experiences in the digital age

Since applying to the ecommerce industry, various AI technology types have contributed to significantly changing consumer habits and purchasing decision-making processes, ultimately optimizing the convenience that customers received from online shopping. However, AI tools are continually developing and improving every day to enhance the user experience, and they also regularly stay updated with many popular trends.

Product 3D view

The 3D formats have been practical to enhance more excited customer-product interactions. Customers can observe different product aspects or even try placing a small decoration item at any house location to check the product’s suitability. This invisibility generally creates exciting experiences to increase interaction making customers more interested in the product.

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3D technology in real estate and interior enhances the effectiveness of multi-dimensional sense of space which was limited before

Some interior brands have been using 3D scanning technology to perfectly experience interior space and architecture. Based on a provided video, customers can enjoy AR via remotely 3D virtual reality technology.

Mobile virtual reality fitting room

That AI ability can be a perfect solution when a store has too many customers visiting at the same time while the fitting room is overloaded. Customers can scan product images and try them out on a mobile phone screen. This technology is already available on Lacoste’s app, supporting customers to try their favorite shoes freely via their smartphone.

AR technology
Lacoste’s shoe trying app uses IR and AR technology, supporting the new-arrival models from the brand

The development of 3D and virtual reality technology has proved that nothing is impossible in the digital age. AI development is also a considerable solution for ecommerce barriers, mainly interacting with products when buying online to optimize ecommerce experience.

In the future, as many expert predictions, AI can be a modern and popular trend to optimize the ecommerce experience correctly. However, businesses also need to consider the needs of target customers to have appropriate applications and increase the number of potential customers and loyal customers in the long run.

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Breakthrough ecommerce barriers
Misperceptions, weak possibilities, or lack of substantial investment are significant barriers to the ecommerce industry in Vietnam today. However, the long-term effects of old business models now seem to be more accessible. Business owners also focus more on improving the management and operation of the ecommerce complex systems. The shortage of capital has also improved somewhat. To do that is to combine solutions seamlessly, take advantage of the “small rain lays great dust” idea to influence and change consumer habits and perceptions partially, then quickly breakthrough ecommerce barriers.

1. Breakthrough ecommerce barriers with customer-centric orientation

Customer-centric orientation can significantly improve the problems that consumers are suffering from shopping online. This orientation is correctly a long-term process to breakthrough ecommerce barriers, follows the business for a lifetime, creates brand values as a result, and other measurable values, such as highly-appreciated customer feedback, increasing the number of products sold.

At first glance, customer-centric orientation looks quite general and tends to imply intangible values. However, the “customer-in-center” mindset can generate both cognitive and measurable values. Before it can create measurable values, the business needs to have a clear awareness and specific purpose of this orientation, maintaining it as a unified business culture.

customer-centric orientation t breakthrough ecommerce barriers
The customer-centric mindset produces lifetime values for both businesses and customers

To get started, be customer-friendly in all aspects—organizations at first need to analyze the customer community’s needs and insights. Customer feedback, including limitations from existing products/services on the market, service quality, promotion campaigns, is the foremost factor to consider. Proactively getting customer feedback on products and services is all valuable information; thus, organizations will have time to complete both product systems and customer service.

It is an equally critical factor that improving user interface can produce oriented rather than product-centric. Many businesses assumed that the “good wine needs no bush” developing style would naturally create attraction itself. Indeed, this style is not wrong; however, it is still not powerful enough in the long run. Proactively taking care of customers, receiving the limitations of existing products are the fastest steps to improve producing more appropriate products. Products tailored to the needs make customers perfectly comfortable in the user experience.

2. Set sales goal to prevent cash-flow issues and breakthrough ecommerce barriers

To breakthrough ecommerce barriers effectively, one of the critical things is to set clear business goals. It is difficult to predict future fluctuations; however, proactively create realistic goals and prepare everything to achieve them. Businesses can start from their monthly goals about the cost, revenue, or market share achieved, then set out tasks to achieve the goal instead of declaring the whole year’s goals with an incredible number that no one could ever reach.

sales goal
The sales goal needs to be a month-to-month process instead of a whole-year forgotten promise

Besides, sales goals can give great support to an organization’s financial problem. In particular, the cash-flow factor should not become the only weapon that businesses abuse to invest endless-capital for ecommerce races. The fact has proved that enormous capital investments have made a large number of SMEs miserable. Meanwhile, ecommerce giants have received sponsorship from well-known global ecommerce organizations. They have been ready to run.

3. Strengthen product policies to breakthrough ecommerce barriers

The ecommerce market needs to tighten product policies to deal more effectively with fake or low inferior quality products. This reason is the most significant issue without any practical solutions, and it also comes from both sellers, ecommerce enterprises, and consumers. Vendors are for-profit; businesses cannot control the stores; consumers prefer low prices despite good-quality; all of them are potential factors making the issue of fake goods, counterfeit goods more widespread.

To temporarily deal with the issue of inferior quality goods, it is necessary to focus on developing return and exchange policies and accompanying preferential policies. Businesses should quickly recall counterfeit or error products if the customer has received the product, give back customers an authentic one, and may come with a discount voucher for the next purchase. This reaction shows the attitude of the proactive settlement of businesses, as well as keeps customers calm.

return and exchange policies
Return and exchange policies contribute to customer’s trustworthy enhancement

On the other hand, to maintain the product and brand values in the long term, there should be a permanent policy in product quality assurance, product censorship policy before officially selling products online—for example, the ecommerce website TIKI.VN has done well when ready to commit a 111% refund if found counterfeit, simultaneously also completed the product quality assurance process before officially opening for sale on the website.

Additionally, other ecommerce businesses also make commitments to supply genuine products much more firmly. However, this is just an effort from one side; ecommerce businesses can only fulfill their role and work to ease the issues, not the most radical solution because counterfeit or inferior quality goods had originated from when traditional trading existed. In terms of a holistic approach, significant efforts from every consumer are essential, in other words, personal consciousness. This effort is quite complicated and needs to come first from the family and society’s educational process to form consciousness in human growth and personal development.

A high sense of quality will be the most comprehensive solution, whether from consumers, sellers, or businesses, which can then create more weighty policies that maximally protect consumers’ interests not only in ecommerce but also in all other economic sectors. Comprehensive policies will significantly eliminate inferior quality goods step by step to breakthrough ecommerce barriers.

Customers, cash flow, and product quality are the keys to determining the success of an ecommerce system, also affecting many other aspects. Therefore, to do breakthrough ecommerce barriers is to come first from the leading foundations and create synergy for removing existing barriers.

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3 barriers to the ecommerce industry in Vietnam
With impressive recorded statistics, ecommerce businesses are increasingly asserting their essential role in the economy. However, together with positive development, the e-business field contains various challenges, evolving into barriers to the ecommerce industry and getting even more complicated in the Vietnamese market.

1. Quality of goods – one of the barriers to the ecommerce industry

The variety of products published on every ecommerce website is always diversity-guaranteed to meet almost the market needs. However, ensuring the criteria of goods quality has been an unresolved question up to now, becoming one of the barriers to the ecommerce industry. The burning issues of low-quality products, counterfeit consumer goods are eventually uncontrollable and exist in the market. Those effects can be derived from a couple of factors that can be analyzed from the perspective of the sellers, ecommerce enterprises, and consumers.

quality of goods is one of the Barriers to the ecommerce industry
Low-quality products are considered to be the factor that most affects the business-reputation

The seller’s consciousness

The low-quality of goods has come from the traditional trading model operated offline, and merchants inevitably take responsibility in that case. Although consumers can contemplate the offline model seriously, the product quality is still sellers’ responsibility and control. Uncontrollable-quality sources become a critical issue when merchants provide goods with a profitable price to get much higher returns by selling fake or inferior quality products with very attractively “low” prices. In the flourishing process of online business, those unsolved issues have the chance to spread across the online-offline frontier and lose control.

The perception of ecommerce enterprises

When the quality issue emerges, e-firms are the first to be impacted. Those types, namely B2C and C2C, act as middlemen for merchant support to sell products on ecommerce exchanges.

Consequently, those enterprises restrict the source of inferior products and entirely rely on consumer feedback to address the issue in a very passive way. The quality barrier prevents enterprises from gaining consumer trust to maintain their loyalty.

The buying awareness

The spread of low-quality goods partly comes from consumer awareness. In the e-market, there is still a consumer group preferring inexpensive or on-sales items to other high-price and authentic products to save the living cost or try a variety of products. They tend to choose low-price items neglecting the origin and information while never complaining about the lack of product-clarification. Low-awareness behavior gradually contributes to the growth of uncontrollable-inferior products and as a result, the development of barriers to the ecommerce industry.

The growth of poor quality products depends on many factors and the responsibility of sellers, businesses, and consumers for the sake of a healthy and trustworthy market.

2. Buying habits – one of the barriers to the ecommerce industry

The need to change buying behavior from offline to online is also one of the barriers to the ecommerce industry in Vietnam. To certainly clarify, take a look at three fundamental behavior-levels happenings when consumers make a purchase.

buying process habits
The personas buying process has eventually constructed unchangeable habits of customers

The first group is pure traditional shoppers, who tend to see and touch what to buy. They wholeheartedly believe their eye-process can ensure more quality and conformity of the product. Therefore, they never trust any online items because of unmanageable-value. As a consequence, changing the buying habit of this group is the most challenging requirement.

The second group is hybrid buyers combining traditional and modern buying styles. That hybrid group tends to select-for-best. For instance, they can quickly add a book or ten pens to their cart because it is more convenient than buying at the bookstore. However, they will directly go to a clothing store to choose an item that fits their size and ensure the fabric quality. That behavior similarly happens when they buy shoes, bags, or other fashion items. In brief, hybrid customers have changed their buying habits in the most popular fields over the years. Hence, there will be much higher requirements for unique products such as fashion items, technology devices, motorcycles, and cars in some cases.

The last group tends to complete online shopping. They take advantage of online shopping as a convenient and speedy tool, helping them save more time during the shopping process. However, this group still has some challenges: maintaining trust-worthy and credibility to upgrade target consumers to loyal customers.

While the increasing mobile-usage has somewhat raised the online shopping demand, the user-habit transformation is a worth-factor that needs better solutions in long-term strategies or it will be one of the barriers to the ecommerce industry. In particular, the significant element affecting ecommerce user-habit is the story of quality-expectation and the reliability of online stores.

3. Barriers to the ecommerce industry in Vietnam include long-term investment

Long-term productive resources in the ecommerce market are also one of the considerable barriers to the ecommerce industry. For this purpose, the ongoing need includes warehouse management, branding & marketing, payment & shipping processes. Consequently, all of the elements should require enterprises to keep the non-stop funding on continuous losses.

long-term investment
Most ecommerce enterprises spend massive capital inflows in the long run

Along the same lines, small and medium-sized enterprises can not afford long-term competition versus the ecommerce giants in the market. For instance, international names like Alibaba, JD.com, or Amazon create an enormous distance for other SMEs to overtake.

In general, the capital investment race invisibly makes large ecommerce businesses more robust and extensive. Meanwhile, it oppositely generates more barriers to the ecommerce industry in Vietnam due to the lack of sufficient capital in the long term. Following this, depending on each organization, there will be many issues when operating an e-business. Therefore, it is necessary to have the most comprehensive outline and meticulous ecommerce study to set the oriented developing goals.

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4 platforms for ecommerce businesses in Vietnam
Using an appropriate technology platform for websites is one of the keys to improving the sales channel’s operational efficiency, bringing advantages to business and brand development for ecommerce businesses in Vietnam. The ecommerce industry in recent years has become a more vibrant topic than ever before with a growth rate record and has received prominent attention and investment from the top ecommerce giants of the world.

1. The developing process of ecommerce businesses in Vietnam

To discuss the establishment of ecommerce businesses in Vietnam, firstly, it is necessary to look at the development of the website systems. Years ago, the websites primarily displayed information on the Internet for easy access from audiences. Gradually, it has become a competent tool in creating brand identity, improving reliability, and supporting businesses to collect one-click testimonials from their visitors.

processes of ecommerce business in Vietnam
Ecommerce industry has undergone a long development process

Over time, businesses want to increase productivity by selling products while saving costs and facilities. On the other hand, customers also need to buy products faster without directly going to the store. That is the reason leading to the birth of ecommerce.Today, the flash development of ecommerce allows businesses to easily access the market while increasing the opportunity to maximize user experience. In Vietnam, the ecommerce market has only been growing in recent years but has made a breakthrough with prominent brands like Shopee, Tiki, and Lazada.

2. Highly-recommended platforms should apply for ecommerce businesses in Vietnam

Magento

Magento has excellent functions, which highly create flexibility and adaptability, accommodating all sizes of ecommerce businesses in Vietnam. However, Magento is not very friendly for beginners. Instead, the platform has a massive range of features that are adaptive for almost the user-community.

Advantages

  • Optimize search engines and security
  • Include a variety of features supporting the sale and management of products
  • Support multiple currencies, languages
  • Integrate most of the payment gateways
  • SEO-friendly

Disadvantages

  • Only suitable for users having a basic understanding of code and web systems
  • Require payments for extensions

Woocommerce

WooCommerce is not an autonomous platform to build an ecommerce website. It is a type of plugin running on WordPress. In other words, WooCommerce will optimize ecommerce functions for the website community based on the WordPress foundation. Thus, enterprises can start an online development plan in a more accessible and faster way.Utterly different from Magento, WooCommerce is more comfortable to use, especially suitable for beginners. Plus, it also possesses enough extensions handling almost basic tasks from product management to payment methods that can bring a website to the top ecommerce business in Vietnam.

Advantages

  • Provide free editions
  • Quickly access to extend features and customize the store
  • Have strong support from a large user community

Disadvantages

  • Advanced features often require extensions
  • Extensions may need the other sub-extensions to support

Shopify

Pick up enormous scores from users; Shopify possesses the functions to integrate SEO, supporting the website system work, and customize fluidly. It also provides services based on the SaaS model with the main control center.

Advantages

  • Convey a considerable range of themes that can be selected depending on each category
  • Support users 24/7
  • Integrate ads and payment gateways via Visa, Mastercard, and other payments

Disadvantages

  • Require payment when using
  • Request to use the available URLs
  • Not support domestic payment gateways yet
  • Not support Vietnamese yet (High-consideration if businesses plan to develop ecommerce businesses in Vietnam)

Haravan

Haravan is an open platform allowing easy website creation with similar characteristics to Shopify and WordPress. The platform possesses various features providing more conveniently supportive sales-management tools, especially the multi-channel sale on ecommerce websites, namely Lazada, Shopee, and Tiki.

Advantages

  • Allow users to develop a variety of functions
  • Have an inexpensive cost
  • Support the Vietnamese language

Disadvantages

  • Require payments when using some of the extensions
  • Run as a local platform that is highly suitable for SMEs in Vietnam

3. Web design is the key to kick-off ecommerce businesses in Vietnam

The website system is a prerequisite to be maintained, updated regularly and continuously because it is the only interface connecting businesses and customers. For ecommerce businesses in Vietnam, designing a web system plays a crucial role in contributing to the success of an online business or its failure. This design phase is usually performed by the UI/UX team responsible for both visual and user experiences on the websites.

web design
Web design is the most critical factor contributing to ecommerce success

With the experience of developing ecommerce websites, SECOMM developers can apply most of the current platforms to meet our partners’ needs, especially ecommerce businesses in Vietnam. We always value the quality of our work and provide the most appropriate solutions to the occurring issues. Promptness, timeliness, and quality are the consistent goals that we always aim at in the process of operation.

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