Garmin Asia eyes growth in Vietnam and Asia post-pandemic

June 20, 2022 | 16:42
With digital technology acceleration and new user behaviours, the smart wearable market is experiencing great growth. Scoppen Lin, assistant general manager at Garmin Asia, discussed with VIR’s Tuan Thuy the new market trends and the company’s future in Vietnam.
Garmin Asia eyes growth in Vietnam and Asia post-pandemic
Scoppen Lin, assistant general manager at Garmin Asia

What factors contribute to the strong business development of Garmin in the region and Vietnam?

Global supply disruption is a problem that businesses have encountered. Garmin maintained flexibility in product development activities thanks to the vertical integration strategy.

This model starts from the stage of product research and development, goes over product production, and ends at distribution with a dedicated team in charge of each stage. With a top-down approach to managing processes, Garmin can control the process, provide the right service, and ensure product quality, thus enabling us to react to rapid market changes in both product features and design.

The important point is that to ensure manufacturing quality in alignment with Garmin's high standards, we have set up our own production system that is completely self-contained, without any other outside manufacturing unit.

The pandemic has changed perceptions of health issues. Therefore, the health measurement and tracking features built into Garmin products such as the SpO2 index, sleep score, heart rate measurement, stress level, and other advanced technology solutions help users track their health 24/7, also thanks to the impressive battery life of Garmin watches.

Thanks to the growth of the fitness tracking segment, Garmin recorded the highest, strongest, and unprecedented revenue growth of 172 per cent for the wellness smartwatch segment, contributing to the accumulated revenue of Garmin in Vietnam that grew by 66 per cent on-year in 2021.

We continuously expand our outreach in the market. At the beginning of 2021, we established our subsidiary in Vietnam and set up our office in Ho Chi Minh city, as well as opened four Garmin brand stores and establish an online store in Vietnam.

During the pandemic, a new user trend of practising indoors grew strongly. Some of the indoor workouts that recorded strong training trends include cardio running and virtual runs with a growth rate of 765 per cent.

This is also the potential to promote Garmin to develop a more personal sports segment with lines of running watches.

How do you evaluate the smart wearable markets of the region and Vietnam in the upcoming time?

Asia in general is a dynamic market with great potential for development. People tend to be interested in self-development and self-investment, especially in activities and medical equipment. After the pandemic, people are also more aware of health monitoring and exercise, leading to a certain demand for smart wearables with essential technology features.

Meanwhile, we also see significant increases in hiking, diving, golfing, and cycling in each Asian market.

According to Counterpoint Research, in the first quarter of 2022, the smartwatch industry increased 13 per cent over the same period last year and will continue to thrive with more diversified products to serve the diverse needs of users.

In Vietnam, the trend of running will continue to recover. According to Garmin's Asia User Health Data 2021 report, Vietnamese users rank eigth in running activities in the region. Furthermore, users in Vietnam increasingly tend to switch from traditional analogue watches to smartwatches thanks to the advancement and convenience of products in modern daily life.

According to a report by IDC 2021, sales in Vietnam's smart wearable market increased by 4 per cent, of which Garmin's market share ranks second among other brands, making Vietnam one of the key markets of Garmin Asia.

Meanwhile, consumers are also starting to change their shopping behaviour to e-commerce to enhance the shopping experience. In the future, people will buy more smartwatches on e-commerce with the presence of the majority of technology brands on the platform.

Following the expansion of the sales channel, Garmin launched its own e-commerce platform in Vietnam. How does this initiative impact the business strategy in the market?

With garmin.com, we can now see the trend of online shopping growing significantly due to rising incomes and increasing internet penetration.

According to Facebook and Bain & Company, Southeast Asia is the leading market for digital transformation in the Asia-Pacific region, with Vietnam being one of the best-performing countries.

By the end of 2021, Vietnam had 53 million customers using the internet on digital platforms, with 53 per cent of them using e-wallets for online payments. So with that great potential, Garmin has established its own online shopping platform to meet the shopping needs of customers.

And the presence of this online store is also a commitment by Garmin to the long-term investment efforts in Vietnam by expanding the coverage of the offline sales channel.

Garmin.com is fully managed by Garmin from sales to after-sales, giving customers easy and convenient access to the full range of products of accessories in Garmin's ecosystem and professional customer service standards.

The platform also promotes new product launches and exclusive deals with limited quantities for Vietnamese users. For example, the Smart Scales Index S2 and Instinct 2 One Piece were recently launched.

Once customers register on garmin.com, they will always be the first to receive the latest promotion updates and product launch information directly from Garmin.

By Bich Thuy

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