E-commerce platforms line up to fill Facebook’s boots

April 02, 2018 | 17:12
Online businesses may turn to other platforms to do business after Facebook blocked API, affecting many Vietnamese retailers using it as a trading platform.
e commerce platforms line up to fill facebooks boots
Facebook's blocking of API has forced online businesses to consider alternatives

Facebook remains a large business channel for many Vietnamese young people. According to newswire Bloomberg, Joe Nguyen, senior vice president of ComScore (the world’s leading measurement system), said that a large number of Vietnamese people love using social networks for doing business, with the highest proportion in the world.

This is one of the main reasons why Facebook is focusing on Vietnam. Speaking at the APEC CEO Summit 2017, Facebook’s chief operating officer (COO) Sheryl Sandberg said that 74 per cent of the Asia-Pacific’s small- and medium-enterprises use Facebook to increase sales and 70 per cent of small enterprises use Facebook to find new employees for their companies. These rates have become more reality (shows more clearly) for Vietnamese enterprises.

According to 2017’s data released by Facebook, Vietnam with 64 million users, including 27,000 users doing business, took the seventh position in top 10 countries with the highest number of Facebook users.

However, Facebook’s blocking the API to limit the data collected from users caused difficulties for a large number of online businesses in recent days.

“Businesses depending on Facebook and using it as the only trading platform make a mistake. They should open at least two trading platforms to ensure their sales revenue,” said Tran Trong Tuyen, general secretary of the Vietnam E-Commerce Association (VECOM).

Along with Facebook, many businesses also use other social networks and e-commerce applications for trading, such as Zalo and Lazada.

Gia Khanh, an owner of an online shoe store, said that his turnover from the shoe business is increasing monthly, thanks to the flexible utilisation of several platforms.

Khanh also opened an online shoe shop to reach new customers, besides using Facebook to keep the old ones.

“I’m using Zalo to approach new customers as well as Facebook to introduce products and do business,” Khanh added.

Beside social networks, many businesses utilise applications, including Lazada, Shoppee, and Adayroi to do business.

e commerce platforms line up to fill facebooks boots
Lazada is one of the main contenders

Le Quang Khai, a director of an IT company with four years of online trading experience, said that he chose Lazada to trade due to a small discount offered for sellers, which is 5 per cent for electronic products, 10 per cent for fashion products, and 8 per cent for other products.

Khai also added that opening a store on Lazada is free, and that discount rates and delivery fees will be applied after a successful transaction.

With over 50 million page requests and over 11 million downloads of the mobile application, Lazada helps retailers approach new customers more easily. From famous brands to small handicrafts, all businesses can sell their products and track their bills through the Lazada platform.

According to 2017 data released by The Nielsen, 390 million people in the Asia-Pacific region are using e-commerce platforms for shopping, and these channels’ annual sales are approximately $15 trillion globally and will increase by $32 trillion by 2025. This shows that online shopping will continue to grow sharply in the near future.

By Van Anh

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