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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.
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.
US paid media ad spending will grow steadily in 2017, on the heels of a strong 2016 boosted by the Rio Olympics and the presidential election. A focus on mobile will fuel growth, pushing total media spend to more than $206 billion this year—a moderate increase of 6.1%.
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