Criteo: Vietnamese consumers turn to online shopping amidst COVID-19 pandemic

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Criteo S.A. (NASDAQ: CRTO), the global technology company powering the world’s marketers with trusted and impactful advertising, recently unveiled the results of their research analysing the impact of COVID-19 on the eCommerce landscape.

Covering data from the Asia Pacific region, including Southeast Asia, Criteo’s research uncovered a definitive increase in online sales transactions. This may be attributed to the shift in shopper behaviour as consumers observe social distancing.

Indexed Weekly Sales, 2020 compared to Average in Jan 1-28 2019.

In Vietnam, online retail remains strong compared to the same period in 2019, however, recently it is getting close to what we have observed in 2019. As for the rest of Southeast Asia, online retail keeps growing – as bretail sales in SEA is experiencing a higher uplift this year compared to 2019, with the highest sales uplift seen in the week of 3 May.

*South East Asia includes HK, ID, MY, PK, PH, SG, TW, TH, VN. Indexed Weekly Sales, 2020 compared to Average in Jan 1-28 2019.

Based on our data, we see the increase in online shopping in Southeast Asia spanning various product categories, from health and beauty to consumer electronics, food and beverage to biometric monitors,” said Steven Nguyen, Senior Regional Manager, SEA.

Criteo’s data on Indexed Sales from Southeast Asia on overall eCommerce trends has shown that:

– Consumer electronics such as laptops and computer components rose in demand as people prepared to work or learn from home.
– Comfortable clothes are also on the list for online shopper, with loungewear among top apparel categories – reflective of consumers’ need to feel more relaxed as they need to be home for longer periods than before.
– Food and beverage remain strong. Particularly, at-home cooks stock up more non-perishables — items like pasta and noodles, condiments, and baking supplies – which will last longer as people adhere to self-isolation rules.
– Furniture purchases are mainly relegated to items that make working from home more comfortable, with office chairs and desks among the top buys.
– While everyday health and beauty items remain on demand, sales for biometric monitors have spiked and remain strong.
– Shoppers are spending more on quality-of-life oriented goods for comfort and entertainment to adapt to living almost entirely indoors.

“These trends reflect that as the global health crisis continues to affect countries, and measures like social distancing and travel restrictions limit people’s activities and movements, it is quite inevitable that their daily needs and routines have changed as well,” noted Steven Nguyen.

Apart from looking at online retail trends, Criteo also recently conducted a survey of more than 15,000 respondents across 15 countries to investigate the impact of the coronavirus on consumer behaviour. Based on the survey data, more than half of consumers say they will purchase more online because of the coronavirus. GenZ and Millenials were the most inclined to do more online shopping, with 54% and 58% of respondents stating this, respectively. In terms of product categories, groceries and household products are top items for continued online purchase, although 4 out of 10 shoppers plan to keep their spending stable in all other categories.

In Vietnam, 76% of the survey respondents said they plan to do more online purchases compared to their usual – while only 15% and 9% of respondents said they will do the same amount of shopping or shop less, respectively. 62% and 50% of the Vietnamese survey respondents also said they will doing more online purchases of groceries and beauty/personal hygiene products.

Advertising for the new normal

Given these insights, Steven Nguyen shared the importance for brands and businesses to rethink their advertising strategies in the face of what has become the new normal.

As more and more consumers turn to e-commerce to shop for essentials and beyond, retailers now have to leverage their in-store brand equity and be able to present their offerings online in different ways to get engagement,” said Steven Nguyen, who added that brands must establish strong relationships with their clientele offline and on.

With online stores now the destination of consumers, retailers should also rethink the customer experience via more engaging campaigns that will not only draw loyal customers but create new ones.

Brands can think of creating programs that will help customers build long-term relationships with their own online shopping channel or application,” advised Steven Nguyen.“These can include running app retargeting campaigns for high-demand products and features that the app offers, or loyalty programs and incentives for top engaged users.

And as consumers also face their new normal, retailers must ensure that their own efforts to promote their products remain sensitive to their consumers’ current situation.

You don’t want your ads to be insensitive or tone-deaf,” shared Steven Nguyen. “Instead, think of your ads as a motivational tool for your consumers as they adapt to a new way of life, and drive for relevancy with displays of products that will fit a lifestyle that requires concern for wellbeing not only for the individual consumers, but others as well.

Methodology for Consumer Survey

Criteo surveyed over 15,600 respondents across 15 countries between March 15 and April 7, representative of the populations of their respective countries by age and gender. In Vietnam, the survey was conducted from April 24 – May 4 with 1,008 respondents. All survey responses were then aggregated for general analysis across broad demographic categories.

About Criteo
Criteo (NASDAQ: CRTO) is the global technology company powering the world’s marketers with trusted and impactful advertising. 2,700 Criteo team members partner with over 20,000 customers and thousands of publishers around the globe to deliver effective advertising across all channels, by applying advanced machine learning to unparalleled data sets. Criteo empowers companies of all sizes with the technology they need to better know and serve their customers. For more information, please visit www.criteo.com.

*Source: Criteo

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