HO CHI MINH CITY: E-commerce in Vietnam is growing fast from a low base, but is facing problems around delivery and effective use of data according to observers.

E-commerce no longer suffers from an inability to handle online orders at peak periods – over the recent Black Friday weekend, for example, e-commerce platform Lazada reported that it had sold three times as many items as last year.

Logistics firms, however, have been slower to adapt, according to Tuoi Tre News, and Alexandre Dardy, CEO of Lazada Vietnam, admitted that some orders remained undelivered two weeks later, a glitch he laid at the door of the shopping service.

Lotte Vietnam reported a similar experience as it said more than 80% of its orders were delivered by the company’s partners, so “a certain proportion of deliveries are made behind schedule”.

Online sales routes are also diversifying away from e-commerce platforms to include channels such as social media and mobile messaging, while native ads are gaining traction, according to VietnamNet Bridge.

“The ongoing digital transformation is forcing retailers in Vietnam to think more about digital sales strategies, how to collect customer data, and how to analyze consumption trends,” said Ha Anh Tuan, CEO of Vietnam’s marketing research company Vinalink, speaking at the recent Vietnam Internet Day 2017 event.

Platforms like Lazada have an advantage in this regard, being able to process a huge volume of data to improve its service and to personalise it. “By further investing in technology innovation, we would like to bring the customer shopping experience into the next level,” Dardy explained.

The shopping experience may count for little, however, unless shoppers have a reasonable expectation of having their purchase delivered more quickly.

Sourced from Tuoi Tre News, VietnamNet Bridge; additional content by WARC staff