2019 is a pivotal year for the entire e-commerce industry in Vietnam when there are specific signs that the market is gradually becoming more mature in many aspects.

E-commerce aggregator portal iPrice, in collaboration with market researchers SimilarWeb, App Annie and YouNet Media, produces a summary report of Vietnamese e-commerce markets in 2019, and provides many indicators for the year 2020.

What did e-commerce marketplaces do in 2019?

Data from the report shows that Shopee Vietnam continued to lead in the whole year of 2019 in terms of website traffic, reaching an average of 33.6 million visits / month. Followed by Thegioididong, Sendo, Tiki, and Lazada. With financial support from SEA Limited, Shopee competed well on all fronts. They introduced the Shopee Live feature in March, promoted it with Cristiano Ronaldo in September, organized the Shopee Show in November and partnered with GrabExpress in December.

Now that SEA Limited has announced a 152% increase YoY in revenue in 2019, Shopee looks to be ready to goeven further in 2020. By Q1 of 2020, they have already introduced the Shopee Feed feature which, according to them, will "provide social features for users like creating content to interact with friends, shoppers and sellers.” Sendo meanwhile focused primarily on attracting new users. From Q1 to Q2, Sendo's website traffic increased by a whopping 24%. At the same time, Sendo's mobile app also ranked #2 nationwide in terms of new downloads in the second and third quarters of 2019. On the other hand, Tiki chose to go slowly but surely by launching a new livestream feature called TikiLive and improving their warehousing and fast delivery capacity. The immidiate result from these efforts, according to iPrice’s report, is that Tiki received good feedback from consumers, helping them to rank #2 nationwide in terms of popularity on social media in 2019. Finally, Lazada Vietnam spent most of the year on activities that combine entertainment and shopping such as Lazada Super Party, Guess It gamehow, and the Lazada Music Festival. Because most of these activities are only for mobile, Lazada, although ranked second in terms of app users, only ranked fifth in terms of website traffic, achieving 23.8 million visits / month.

E-commerce is now an essential activity for consumers

iPrice's report ranks the most used e-commerce apps in Vietnam in 2019. Among them, the top four are Shopee, Lazada, Tiki and Sendo. This top 4 ranking remained the same throughout the year, despite competition from foreign applications such as Aliexpress, SHEIN, and Wish. This shows that Vietnamese consumers are very loyal to their favourite shopping apps. On the website platform, there is a similar phenomenon. When analyzing customer behavior, the researchers found that up to 45% of Vietnamese customers access e-commerce marketplaces by typing the website address directly into their browsers, rather than searching for it on Google or clicking on ads. This number is much higher than the global average of only 27.49% (according to SimilarWeb, 2019).

Thus, online shopping on e-commerce marketplaces has now become a reflex for Vietnamese consumers. Whenever a need arises, consumers will open their favorite shopping app or type an address and visit the websiteimmediately, without having to do much searching or reconsidering. A representative of YouNet Media also said that e-commerce was one of the most followed industries on social media in Vietnam in 2019, attracting millions of discussions every month, once again proving the popularity of e-commerce in Vietnam. The period of educating Vietnamese consumers about online shopping has been successful. The next challenge for companies now is how to make each consumer continue to purchase more without companies having to compete on price.

Entering 2020: satisfying customers is the focus

Facing that new challenge, the report points to a series of brand new services and products coming from e-commerce marketplaces in Vietnam in 2019. Shopee, Lazada, Tiki and Sendo all launched their own livestreaming features on mobile applications. This is followed by intensive infrastructure development activities, especially focusing on fast delivery services. Through these activities, e-commerce marketplaces are trying to create new and more realistic value propositions ​​to retain customers, while also reducing their dependence on discounts. These efforts will likely be continued and enhanced in 2020. Only by doing so, e-commerce marketplaces can continue to grow and be profitable in the long run. Explaining the company's plans for 2020, Mr. Tran Tuan Anh, CEO of Shopee, told the researchers: “Shopee recognizes that the trend of online shopping in 2020 will be more personalized, interactive and socializing. Accordingly, we introduce new enhancements to provide users with highly personalized and entertaining online shopping experience.”

About iPrice Group iPrice Group is a meta-search website operating in seven countries across Southeast Asia namely in; MalaysiaSingaporeIndonesiaThailandPhilippinesVietnam, and Hong Kong. Currently, iPrice compares and catalogues more than 500 million products and receives close to 20 million monthly visits across the region. iPrice currently operates three business lines: price comparison for electronics and health & beauty; product discovery for fashion and home & living; and coupons across all verticals.