E-commerce competition: a story of past and future

May 30, 2023 | 11:28
(0) user say
E-commerce investment activities in Vietnam can be divided into three main phases. In the first phase, Vietnam’s e-commerce industry started from the mid-2000s to 2010 with early generations of e-commerce platforms such as Vat Gia, En Bac, Cho Dien Tu, and 123mua.vn.

At that stage, the amount of investment capital in e-commerce was still very modest and only a few platforms could access capital, such as Vat Gia and Cho Dien Tu.

E-commerce competition: a story of past and future
Le Hoang Uyen Vy-Vice chairwoman Vietnam E-commerce Association

In the second phase, from 2011 to 2017, Vietnam’s e-commerce industry developed more vibrantly with the appearance of many domestic and foreign players. The two most popular models and attracting most investment capital were group and multi-industry e-commerce platforms.

One of the big deals at that time was Nhommua, which received $60 million from IDG Ventures Vietnam, Rebate Networks, and Ru-net Global. However, most groupon models failed to maintain their growth rate and became into recession after a few years.

Regarding the e-commerce platform model, Tiki and Sendo were the two prominent domestic companies that were formed, and continuously called for large rounds of capital after demonstrating their good growth possibilities.

In the third phase, which began around 2018, the e-commerce industry has continuously grown thanks to the introduction of many new business models, notably the segments such as business-to-business (B2B) distribution, e-commerce enabler tools for sales support, and social commerce.

Among them, some prominent investment deals were Telio, which attained $49 million in investment; Kiotviet ($51 million), and companies in emerging social commerce such as Ecomobi, Mio, and Selly.

Currently, the legal basis is generally developing in a favourable direction to promote the development of e-commerce. The industry is developing rapidly with a number of new business models emerging, so the legal framework should be constantly updated, thus creating motivation for small new businesses to join into the industry.

As for multi-industry e-commerce platforms, the market is led by foreign-invested enterprises because their economic potential and investment are very much larger than domestic ones. The three exchanges currently leading the market are Shopee, Tiktok Shop, and Lazada, and just behind them are the likes of Tiki and Sendo.

In new e-commerce models such as ecommerce enabler, social commerce, and B2B distribution, domestic businesses have a near-absolute advantage because of the acumen of the young generation of entrepreneurs who are learning and deploying new models quickly. In the region, there are not yet large companies with enough potential to penetrate into the Vietnamese market in these segments.

Joining the World Trade Organization and signing free trade deals have helped businesses trade more smoothly, from which they can find sources of imported goods for the domestic market better, as well as creating more opportunities to export goods to potential markets.

However, cross-border e-commerce is still a not-so-popular concept in Vietnam and has only been promoted in the last few years thanks to the penetration of Alibaba, Amazon Global, and platforms like Shopify and Shopbase. This is still a high-potential market for Vietnamese e-commerce businesses if they can make better use of cross-border trade deals to expand their business.

With a double-digit growth momentum and always being in the group of countries worldwide with the leading e-commerce development rate as of today, by 2025, the scale of Vietnam’s e-commerce market may reach $49 billion. According to a more optimistic forecast from Google, Vietnamese’s e-commerce market will have a scale of up to $57 billion.

According to statistics from Do Ventures and the National Innovation Centre, the amount of investment in e-commerce always accounts for more than 30 per cent of the total investment capital in the technology sector in Vietnam, and this figure is forecasted to continue to grow in the coming years.

New investment capital will continue to help many Vietnamese companies develop more innovative business models. We expect more successful Vietnamese enterprises to penetrate the Southeast Asian market in the future.

Vietnam’s e-commerce market to reach $20 billion by year end Vietnam’s e-commerce market to reach $20 billion by year end

Vecom forecasts Vietnam’s e-commerce market will increase by 25 per cent to US$20 billion by year end.

E-commerce can be the key for success in logistics E-commerce can be the key for success in logistics

Different from the importance in regular trade, efficient logistics is essential for the development of the e-commerce industry. We know that the e-commerce business is largely facing direct consumers. These buyers usually have very high expectations of logistic speed, and efficient logistics plays a significant role in improving customer satisfaction.

By Le Hoang Uyen Vy

What the stars mean:

★ Poor ★ ★ Promising ★★★ Good ★★★★ Very good ★★★★★ Exceptional