HANOI (Vietnam News/Asia News Network): Online shopping will still be booming this year, even if the Covid-19 pandemic is over, experts have said.
The digital economy saw massive growth in Southeast Asia last year, driven by the rise of e-commerce, according to a recent report by e-commerce platform Lazada.
The regional e-commerce market reported a 24-fold increase over the last six years, from US$5 billion in 2015 to $120 billion in 2021. It is forecast to reach $234 billion in 2025.
The Vietnamese market is also expected to quadruple to $39 billion by 2025 from $13 billion last year.
The pandemic has triggered major changes in customers’ behaviour and shopping habits, the report cited, as 58 per cent of surveyed Vietnamese said they will continue shopping on online marketplaces because it is convenient.
This habit is likely to sustain in the future as 53 per cent of the respondents indicated that online shopping has become a part of their life.
Đặng Hoàng Hải, director of the Vietnam e-Commerce and Digital Economy Agency (iDEA), said e-commerce has been a critical distribution channel, maintaining supply chains and boosting sales of agricultural products, particularly during the severe resurgence of Covid-19.
Sales on e-commerce sites reached $13 billion last year, up 16 per cent against 2020, making Vietnam one of the top three South-East Asian countries with the highest growth in online retail sales.
There has been a booming demand for e-commerce since the outset of the pandemic, said Nguyễn Ngọc Dũng, president of the Vietnam E-commerce Association (VECOM). More than 70 per cent of the Vietnamese population have access to the Internet; nearly 50 per cent go shopping online and 53 per cent use e-wallets and adopt digital payments, he noted.
James Dong, CEO of Lazada Thailand and Vietnam, said Covid-19 waves have brought about major changes in customers’ behaviour and shaped new trends.
Five key trends in 2021 are likely to continue having profound impacts on e-commerce ecosystem this year, namely social commerce, User Generated Content (UCG), personalised customer experience, digital payment, and multi-channel shopping, he said.
Though shoppers are returning to physical stores, there is no sign of decline in online shopping, said Tracey Ryan O’Connor, Vice President of Qubit Group, adding that in fact, the trend keeps growing constantly.
Even if the pandemic comes to an end, online shopping will continue to thrive further as it has become a habit of consumers, she said.