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Market Research | Decision Lab

The state of social commerce in Vietnam

By  Thach Huynh    

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Vietnamese use social media for a variety of purposes, including shopping. MMA Vietnam and Decision Lab recently launched a report which sheds light on the state of online shopping via social media in Vietnam.

With 74% of Vietnam’s population using social media (Statista), it’s no secret that Vietnamese love social platforms. Vietnamese have found many uses for social media, from connecting with friends and family to getting the scoop on the latest news and gossip. In keeping with Vietnam’s high entrepreneurial spirit, social media also acts as a viable e-commerce channel for both selling and buying goods. 

In fact, social platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Zalo, make up the fourth most popular e-commerce channel in Vietnam per Decision Lab’s Connected Consumer report. Given the popularity of social commerce, Decision Lab and MMA Vietnam are proud to conduct a study on the state of social commerce in Vietnam. With quantitative and qualitative components, this report will give readers a full picture of social commerce in Vietnam through the perspectives of both buyers and sellers. 

Social commerce at a glance

The social media giant Facebook defines any act of selling and buying on social media platforms as social commerce. And Vietnamese are no stranger to this concept. This survey suggests that 46% of consumers started adopting social commerce around 2-5 years ago, marking the time frame for social commerce’s surge in popularity in Vietnam. 

 

Certainly, some people adopted social commerce earlier than others. Indeed, one fourth of the respondents started shopping online via social media more than 5 years ago. However, they often met with disappointing experiences, such as buying counterfeit products, in the early days of social commerce. 

But times are changing. Social media platforms are providing more features to not only support social merchants but also protect consumers from fraudulent activities. 72% of consumers say that they choose to shop on social media thanks to its convenience compared to other e-commerce platforms. 

“Convenience” may mean more flexibility in the buying process. An interviewee (male, 23 years old)  said, “Facebook is more convenient in terms of returning goods. I can just contact vendors to return goods. On e-commerce platforms, sometimes vendors refuse to answer if you encounter faulty products.” 

Or it may mean more personalization of product offering. “Shops on Facebook will actively post about limited edition goods (sneakers) for you. Sometimes you get deals if you ask. I use e-commerce apps only when I know what I want,” says another interviewee (Male, 19 years old).

Social commerce platforms

It is no surprise that Facebook is the most popular social commerce platform in Vietnam. At 94%, Facebook stands head and shoulders above Zalo (49%), Instagram (31%), and TikTok (23%). According to Mr. Pierre-Olivier Guy, Chief Digital & Marketing Officer of L’Oreal Vietnam, Vietnam’s unique in its embrace of Facebook as a source of digital commerce.

Additionally, 82% of consumers agree that Facebook is the easiest-to-use social commerce platform. Meanwhile, Instagram, another Meta platform, stands slightly higher than other platforms in terms of entertainment values. 

 

As Vietnam’s go-to messaging platform, Zalo attracts users as a social commerce platform thanks to its convenience. Though most platforms are not rated highly for their trustworthiness and ability to deliver goods quickly, the late-comer TikTok wins over other platforms for these attributes.

With Vietnam’s ever-growing digital economy and high engagement with social media, social commerce is here to stay. In subsequent analyses, Decision Lab will dive deeper into the consumer journey on social commerce platforms and the role of live-streaming during said journey.

For more insights, download the full "Social Commerce and Live-streaming report" for FREE here. To get in touch about our entire suite of agile marketing products, reach out to one of our expert consultants today.  

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