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Vietnam’s online retail sales hit US$13.7 billion in 2021

By Van Ly

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HANOI – Vietnam’s overall online retail sales hit US$13.7 billion in 2021, up US$1.9 billion over 2020, according to the Vietnam E-commerce White Book 2022 released by the Vietnam e-Commerce and Digital Economy Agency.

The Vietnam E-commerce White Paper 2022 showed that online retail sales accounted for 7% of the total retail sales of consumer goods and services nationwide in 2021, increasing two percentage points year-on-year.

Compared to the US$6.2 billion figure in 2017, the online retail market doubled in size in just five years. It is estimated that Vietnam’s online retail sales will soar to US$16.4 billion this year.

The number of online transactions increased from 33.6 million in 2017 to 54.6 million in 2021. Some 58.2% of internet users bought a product or service online on a weekly basis in Vietnam, almost equal to the global average of 58.4%.

Cash on delivery was still the most common payment method for online purchases in 2021, followed by e-wallets, domestic debit cards and credit cards.

Within 11 years, the rate of cash payment for online purchases slightly declined from 78% to 73%. E-wallet payments increased from 23% to 37%, while payments via domestic debit cards fell to 27%.

Retailer reputation, delivery time, promotion programs, price comparison with brick-and-mortar stores, the variety of products and quality are among the most important evaluation criteria when an online consumer makes a purchase decision.

However, consumers have still faced difficulties with online shopping, including the lower-than-expected quality of products, personal information leaks, high delivery costs, poor customer service and bad delivery service.

According to the Vietnam e-Commerce and Digital Economy Agency, Vietnam’s internet economy was equal to that of Malaysia, exceeding the Philippines and Singapore in 2021.

Revenue of Vietnam’s internet economy reached US$21 billion in 2021 and is expected to shoot up to US$57 billion in 2025, ranking second in Southeast Asia.

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