E-commerce platforms help to spread agricultural value

April 25, 2024 | 07:30
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E-commerce is opening up a dynamic global playing field and bringing more opportunities for Vietnamese agricultural products. Nguyen Minh Tien, director of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Trade Promotion Centre for Agriculture, explained more to VIR’s Tra My.

What is your assessment of the role of e-commerce platforms in promoting the consumption of agricultural products, especially One Commune, One Product (OCOP) items?

E-commerce platforms help to spread agricultural value
Nguyen Minh Tien, director of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Trade Promotion Centre for Agriculture

E-commerce is growing rapidly in both Vietnamese and international markets. In 2023, e-commerce in Vietnam increased by 25 per cent, far higher than the average global increase of 8.6 per cent. In that trend, promoting agricultural products and OCOP items on e-commerce platforms is a must to promote consumption and increase the value of agricultural products in domestic and foreign markets.

The Trade Promotion Centre for Agriculture (Agritrade), with permission from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, has signed cooperation agreements with many e-commerce platforms and has initially achieved positive results. The first impression is the spread of OCOP items on the e-commerce platform. Previously, very few OCOP items were advertised and promoted, but now, nearly 12,000 products have been introduced on social networking platforms.

On the TikTok platform alone, 800 livestream sessions selling agricultural products called OCOP Market taking place weekly in 38 localities have attracted 1.4 billion viewers, bringing in more than $4.17 million in revenue.

It is the sellers, multichannel marketing channels, and influencers on e-commerce platforms that have contributed to promoting OCOP items and promoting its consumption. On the contrary, many sellers have also been supported in digital transformation, channel building and integration into consumption chains on e-commerce platforms.

Those positive results have promoted OCOP items and Vietnamese agricultural products in general, not only bringing economic value but also spreading traditional cultural values of localities to consumers.

What is necessary for agricultural product sellers and businesses to increase their ability to access and use technology effectively on e-commerce platforms?

There are many issues from skills, resources, production organisation, packaging and logistics that are challenging small- and medium-sized enterprise on e-commerce platforms.

Most business entities on e-commerce platforms are small businesses with very limited capacity, with knowledge and skills about e-commerce and livestreaming being very limited. Therefore, building a channel, developing, and maintaining it is not easy.

I know there are livestream sessions that explode with thousands of orders, but some e-commerce platforms require sellers to complete packaging within a day. If you are not professional in the logistics process and packaging to meet the requirements of the e-commerce platform, the rating of the following livestream session will decrease sharply.

Sellers on e-commerce platforms also need credit support. Current e-commerce platforms often maintain consumer protection mechanisms by holding sellers’ money for up to 15 days or more. Many sellers will therefore lack capital and need credit support to maintain their supply of goods.

In addition, sales businesses also need support on how to make packaging and labels suitable for doing business on e-commerce platforms, in addition to other support including a system for receiving customer feedback, improving customer experience.

E-commerce platforms help to spread agricultural value

How does Agritrade support sellers and small businesses to improve their ability to promote and promote the consumption of agricultural products?

We realise that there are many bottlenecks that need to be resolved in the process of cooperating with e-commerce platforms.

One of the first concerns of consumers today is having to pay too much for shipping costs, while agricultural product orders are often not of high value. We have coordinated with Viettel Post and several other shipping units to be able to deliver these orders to consumers as quickly as possible but with low shipping costs.

What is more, we also cooperate with banks to provide guaranteed financial solutions for sellers, helping them have capital to continue importing goods while waiting for payment from the e-commerce platform.

A backup team between e-commerce platforms, Agritrade, and sales businesses is also built so that if problems arise regarding payment issues or feedback on product quality, customers will receive timely support.

In 2024, we aim to develop OCOP seeds as young, capable sellers who are dedicated to opening channels and supporting them in registering, connecting transactions, and maintaining to create spreadable results. Agritrade will focus on introducing, and organising training classes for sellers. Hopefully, our cooperation with e-commerce platforms will continue to expand to banks and logistics units, so that the e-commerce channel becomes increasingly convenient and better supports both sellers and buyers.

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By Tra My

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