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Facebook Is Vietnam's Favorite Way to Shop: Surveys

While Vietnam’s goal of becoming a cashless society by 2020 seems like a lofty one to say the least, some Vietnamese are well on their way toward embracing technology for shopping, according to three recent surveys.

Unlike their western counterparts, who shop with massive online retailers such as Amazon and eBay – most of which are absent from the Vietnamese market – consumers in Vietnam’s urban areas are turning to Facebook for their purchases, reports VietnamNet.

A survey conducted by Asia Plus in July 2016 among consumers in Saigon and Hanoi found that 67% of respondents had bought goods online, with 47% of transactions occurring on Facebook. Twenty-three percent of those surveyed bought goods online at least once per week and pointed to the social media site's ease of placing orders, familiarity, reasonable prices, opportunity to haggle and regularly updated information as key factors that led them to buy on Facebook.

According to another 2015 e-commerce report, purchases on social networks and online forums in Vietnam also increased from 53% in 2014 to 68% in 2015.

As a result, local retailers are taking note of the shifting market. A 2016 survey conducted by Bizweb on 2,000 shop owners with e-commerce websites showed that 51% viewed Facebook as an effective sales channel while only 29% said the same for their online stores.

“This shows that e-commerce trading floor seems to be inferior to social networks if considering business efficiency,” said Tran Trong Tuyen, CEO of Bizweb and secretary general of VECOM (Vietnam E-commerce Association), according to VietnamNet.

He added that social networks allow retailers to more easily and quickly access clients, address consumer questions through real-time comments, none of which is the case for e-commerce platforms.

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