In Vietnam, More People Buy Online, but Hold Fast to COD - eMarketer
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In Vietnam, More People Buy Online, but Hold Fast to COD

Even with rise in smartphone usage, few purchase via digital

April 6, 2017 | Retail & Ecommerce

In Vietnam, though ecommerce sales are predicted to grow 22% this year, digital’s share of total retail sales will amount to only 1.2%, eMarketer estimates.

And most digital buyers will not pay for online purchases via digital payment services. Instead, 85% of buyers said their primary payment method for digital purchases was cash on delivery (COD), according to a survey by DI Marketing in August 2016.

Only 15% of respondents said they completed their purchases mostly via digital payment.

Primary Payment Method Used for Digital Purchases by Digital Buyers in Vietnam, Aug 2016 (% of respondents)

Because much of the population is underbanked, vendors in Vietnam—as in India—accept COD as a matter of course. So, buyers have no incentive to change their behavior. Another reason for consumers’ preference for COD is lack of trust in a nascent ecommerce market. If a buyer doesn’t like the looks of an item they ordered, they can just refuse to accept it when it arrives.

eMarketer estimates that while less than half of the population (45.5%) in Vietnam will own smartphones in 2017, that proportion will swell to 51.0% in 2018. While it seems that adoption of smartphones would bolster digital payment usage, a survey by the Vietnam Ecommerce and Information Technology Agency (VECITA) a year ago showed that digital buyers’ use of ewallets actually declined from 37% to 11% between 2014 and 2015.

Ben Clague

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