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Phong Do

Vietnamese shift towards social commerce for online shopping

Vietnamese consumers are shifting towards social commerce for online shopping. They increasingly prefer platforms that seamlessly blend multi-purposes, not just entertainment and shopping features separately.

The latest Connected Consumer report by Decision Lab reveals a significant uptick in the use of social commerce platforms such as Facebook, TikTok, and Zalo. Zalo experiences the most notable growth—from 14% in Q3 to 19% in Q4 of 2023. In contrast, e-commerce websites are facing a downturn. Lazada and Tiki witness a decline in penetration rate for the fourth consecutive quarter.

The full report is available for free on Decision Lab’s website.

Despite this, e-commerce sites continue to rank among the top choices for online shopping, though consumer’s preference for them has slightly diminished. Notably, Facebook stands out as the only social commerce platform within the top three, enjoying a 3% increase in preference rate in Q4 of 2023.

Preference for using Facebook for shopping is growing across all age groups, especially among Gen Z, which saw a 4% increase. However, Shopee remains the favourite for this generation. The shift towards social commerce is shown clearly for Gen Y, particularly favouring TikTok. Meanwhile, Gen X's interest in shopping on Zalo rose by 5%. The outlook again highlights the intensifying competition between e-commerce and social commerce in online shopping.

The full report is available for free on Decision Lab’s website.

The consequence of shoppertainment

The pivot towards social commerce is largely driven by the trend of 'shoppertainment,' which merges shopping with entertainment. This approach leverages live streams, product demonstrations, and engaging content to capture consumer interest and make the shopping experience more interactive.

According to the Connected Consumer report, Vietnamese users primarily use social media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, and TikTok for livestream content. Facebook outpaced other platforms with a commanding 66% usage, followed by YouTube at 46% and TikTok closely behind at 45%.

Although TikTok has a lower overall penetration rate, it has overtaken YouTube as the preferred platform for livestream viewing. This preference varies by generation, with Gen Z favouring TikTok for livestreams, while older demographics prefer Facebook.

The full report is available for free on Decision Lab’s website.

“This data illustrates the dynamic shift in Vietnamese online shopping habits towards platforms that offer a blend of entertainment and shopping, signalling a significant evolution in consumer preferences and the competitive landscape between traditional e-commerce and social commerce platforms,” Thue Quist Thomasen, Decision Lab CEO, commenting on the report. 

“Brands can leverage this trend by exploring incorporating features such as shoppable posts, live-streaming shopping events, and in-app purchases to make the shopping experience seamless and convenient for consumers.”