Creativity – the factor for the impressive growth of e-commerce

E-commerce has gained popularity in the past few years in Vietnam and became a crucial but also competitive distribution channel for Vietnamese brands. However, they face many challenges on the way to make a difference for themselves. With years of experience in a senior position in the field, in the talk “Vietnamese Brands’ Creativity in E-commerce”, Mr. Pham Thong shared a few success lessons from the Vietnamese brands he worked with and introduced several exemplar case studies of businesses that are now leading Vietnam’s e-commerce industry.

He opened the talk with an overview of the development of e-commerce in Vietnam ever since 2012 with impressive numbers. Vietnam’s e-commerce witnessed miraculous growth even in Covid-19. As of today, there are more than 68 million Vietnamese on the Internet, many of whom have quickly adapted to online shopping; more than 51 million people are engaging in e-commerce activities. The current estimated value of the industry in Vietnam is now 300 billion USD. Its rapid growth has led to the emergence and development of electronic payment methods and e-wallets, with 20 million active e-wallet accounts in Vietnam, equivalent to 8.1 billion USD.

E-commerce was developed and has become popular in the US a long time ago, before penetrating the Asian markets, including Vietnam’s. However, between the shopping culture of the US and of Asian countries exists a huge difference which helps local e-commerce businesses gain the upper hand and grow exponentially in recent years. E-commerce in Asia is not just about shopping, and especially in Southeast Asian countries, there are many side activities that make shopping more fun and entertaining (shoppertainment). Activities currently at the focus include Music & Video, Art & Design, Game & Viral.

With each case study presented in the event, Pham Thong had selected brands and campaigns that were example, popular, and achieved huge success in recent years. In Music & Video, the most notable and widespread was TIKI with its campaign “TIKI di cung sao Viet” (TIKI accompanies Vietnamese Stars) whose effectiveness was estimated at 20 times more than the average advertising on YouTube. Biti’s should be mentioned as one of the most outstanding brands in Art & Design with its Biti’s Hunter campaigns. Biti’s has optimized its advantages in culture, direct interaction with local consumers, and the “pride of Vietnamese goods” (#proudlymadeinVietnam) to take the lead in the national market share. Apart from art & design factors in this campaign, products were also made available for pre-order before the official launch in stores. This helps the brand minimise risks in terms of large volume production and inventory reduction.

Dr Pham Lan Oanh (Deputy Director of Vietnam National Institute of Culture and Arts Studies) discussed Vietnam Festival of Media & Design: Hanoi 2019’s alignment with the Strategy to develop cultural industries in Vietnam until 2020, with a vision to 2030.

Games have also played a major role in the development of e-commerce due to their ability to entertain and go viral. “Gamificiation” is using gaming mechanisms and experience designing to encourage and increase user interaction in order to change their behaviors and achieve the goals. Depending on the purposes of the campaigns, games are designed for users to boost their interaction with friends or complete certain tasks for gratification and entertainment… ZaloPay, which allowed people to send each other “lucky money” through e-wallets, created a fever with its 2019 lunar new year campaign. Just one month after the campaign “Heo chieu tai” (Lucky Pig), ZaloPay witnessed a 400% growth in total transactions for “lucky money” compared to the same period in 2018. This impressive number further asserts the potential of e-commerce, as well as the importance of creativity in this industry. Creativity is the game changer, the advantage of e-commerce over other traditional industries in business and finance./

Chii Nguyen