Last year, Vietnam’s e-commerce went through its most exciting year yet, starting with big funding news across the board and ending with Google and Temasek’s optimistic prediction of a 43 per cent growth from now till 2025.

This positive growth seems very likely to continue into 2019 along with that would be some interesting market movements.

Here are 3 things to expect from the Vietnamese e-commerce sector this year, according to experts from iPrice Group.

The rise of single-market merchants

According to iPrice’s data on the Vietnamese market, single-market merchants such as Tiki, Thegioididong, and made several encouraging improvements in 2018 in terms of attracting both user traffic and investment.

The most impressive improvement belongs to Tiki.

Their monthly website traffic increased by a whopping 80 per cent within only six months, which took them from the fourth highest position among e-commerce websites in Vietnam to second place by December.

Similarly, also grew by 55 per cent in monthly website traffic within a period of six months and maintained a healthy fifth place in Vietnam, one rank behind Thegioididong.

the most visited e-commerce platforms in Vietnam by Nov 2018

All three of these merchants also did well enough in 2018 to rank among the top 10 merchants with the highest monthly web traffic in Southeast Asia.

These positive results arrived soon after Tiki and announced their success in raising new funding.

In particular, Tiki received US$44.04 million from in late 2017 while Sendo acquired US$51 million from various investors last August.

It seems that by focusing on one market and utilizing their knowledge on local shopping behaviour, single-market merchants like Tiki and have a certain advantage over the multinational competitors Lazada and Shopee.

Now that they’re starting to gain access to better funding, Vietnamese single-market merchants might surprise everyone and win big in 2019.

Digital payment gaining popularity

Right in the first month of 2019, MoMo – one of the most popular digital wallets in Vietnam, announced that they had successfully closed their series C funding round.

Before that, in 2018, Moca – a local competitor, also started a partnership with GrabPay and expanded their digital payment services.

In a similar fashion, other online payment services like ZaloPay and ViettelPay have been showing signs of becoming more serious in their attempts to acquire users.

All these movements promise to make digital payment more popular with Vietnamese online shoppers.

According to Google and Temasek’s report, only 25 per cent of Vietnamese chose to use digital payment, while the rest still prefer CoD (Cash-on-delivery) for their only transactions.

Digital payment service adoption rate in SEA

While CoD helps ease the minds of customers, extra charges on CoD transactions for logistics are a problem for e-commerce merchants.

Moreover, CoD is also shown to increases the risk of product return.

Therefore, the increase in popularity of digital payment in Vietnam thanks to advocating efforts from service providers like MoMo, GrabPay, ZaloPay, etc. will bring a lot of benefits to the whole e-commerce sector in Vietnam in 2019.

Entertainment and engagement while shopping

After focusing on price-based promotion campaigns in previous years, e-commerce merchants in Vietnam have started to adopt some innovative strategies in their user acquisition efforts in 2018.

In particular, they began to provide customers with more entertainment values.

The most prominent follower of this trend must be Shopee.

For this year’s Singles Day, besides their usual promotions, Shopee also introduced several interactive games for their app users as well as a live TV show featuring some of the biggest Vietnamese pop stars, the first of its kind in Vietnam.

Shopee's live Singles Day TV Show in Vietnam

Shopee’s main competitors in Vietnam, Lazada and Tiki also created interactive games on their apps and websites.

As we can see from these programs, e-commerce merchants in Vietnam have finally realized that the most effective way for them to acquire users and keep them around is by engaging with them and making them feel more involved.

This trend will certainly become even more notable in the upcoming year.

Image Credits: amadeustx

Source: iPrice Insights

All data on the total visits on desktop and mobile web in this study were taken from global traffic figures from the respective regional sites. Insights based on SimilarWeb data.

iPrice Group is a meta-search website operating in seven countries across Southeast Asia namely in; Malaysia Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam, and Hong Kong. Currently, iPrice compares and catalogs more than 500 million products and receives more than 15 million monthly visits across the region. iPrice currently operates three business lines: price comparison for electronics and health & beauty; product discovery for fashion and home & living; and coupons across all verticals.