The eCommerce market grows rapidly in Vietnam and it’s set to grow the most in Southeast Asia, just behind Indonesia. The middle-class grows fast here at the same time as foreign brands pour in.
If you’re new to the Vietnamese market and plan to sell online, it can be worthwhile spending some time to understand what the biggest marketplaces are. Therefore, we have written this article where we list the biggest eCommerce platforms in Vietnam.
Lazada was established in 2012 and is the most prominent and well-known eCommerce marketplace in Southeast Asia at the moment. Here, consumers can find any kinds of products, including everything from electronics, fashion products, automotive spare parts, and food & beverages, just to mention a few.
With that said, Lazada has somewhat strict product restrictions for cross-border sales, something that you can read about in our separate article. For example, products such as food and beverages, supplements, and similar cannot be sold cross-border on the website.
Instead, you have to work with a local partner or set up a local company and import the products first. This is generally more time-consuming and not the first option among many small and medium-sized companies. Hopefully, Lazada will loosen these restrictions in the coming time.
In which countries is Lazada available?
Lazada can be found in most Southeast Asian countries, excluding Myanmar, Timor-Leste, Cambodia, Laos, and Brunei. Below you can find the countries where Lazada is available and the related domains:
- Vietnam (Lazada.vn)
- Singapore (Lazada.sg)
- Malaysia (Lazada.com.my)
- Thailand (Lazada.co.th)
- Philippines (Lazada.com.ph)
- Indonesia (Lazada.co.id)
Some of the most promising eCommerce markets in terms of growth are Indonesia and Vietnam. The former one is expected to grow the most and where Lazada fights head-to-head with Shopee (more about that later) and Tokopedia.
Why should I sell on Lazada?
With around 700 million monthly visits, Lazada is set to grow immensely in the coming years as the Southeast Asian economy grows. The website is still highly accessible for overseas brands and you can start selling on Lazada, with the help of a local agent, with just a few hundreds of dollars.
That’s not the case in China, for example, where you need tens of thousands of dollars, just to get started.
If you’re serious about selling in multiple markets in Southeast Asia, Lazada will most likely be at the top of your list. You might also complement the list with other major eCommerce marketplaces, like Shopee.
Benefits of selling on Lazada:
- Store registration for a fee
- Many promotional campaigns to attract customers
- Outstanding protection policy and customer service
- Easy to synchronize data and connect with other platforms
- Lazada is solely a sales channel for businesses (no C2C)
- High commissions for sellers (2% – 5%)
- Logistics costs are fairly high
- Still issues with counterfeit products and quality
- Sellers have to manage Lazada’s online course before selling
Next up we have Shopee, the second-biggest eCommerce marketplace in Southeast Asia in terms of market shares. Founded in 2015, Shopee is a comparatively new eCommerce platform that has grown quickly in the past years. It’s currently headquartered in Singapore and owned by Sea Group.
What makes Shopee popular are the competitive prices, wide product assortment, and low (and sometimes free) shipping costs. Thus, it’s not strange why Shopee has enjoyed high revenues but also suffered from deficits, urging the company to switch business models.
On the contrary to Lazada, Shopee doesn’t claim any commissions but makes money from advertising and transactions. Keep in mind that transaction fees apply to all sellers, but commission fees are only levied to Shopee Mall sellers.
How can I ship products with Shopee?
The same as it goes with Lazada, Shopee offers its own shipping and fulfillment solution referred to as Fulfilment-by-Shopee (FBS). This model can be compared to that of Fulfilment-by-Lazada (FBL) and Fulfilment-By-Amazon (FBA).
However, while FBL is widely available on Lazada, for example, FBS is now only available to top brand principals, distributors, and key sellers with high sales volume and to those who lack fulfillment capabilities.
Managing payments on Shopee is easy
Shopee offers various payment solutions to eCommerce buyers, including:
- Online banking transfer
- ATM transfer
- Credit card payment
- Debit card payment
- Over-the-counter payments
- Cash on Delivery (COD)
Cash-on-delivery has proven highly successful and can increase sales multiple times. In many Southeast Asian countries, buyers prefer to buy with notes and bills rather than credit cards. As such, cash-on-delivery brings much value to shoppers.
Benefits of Selling on Shopee
- One of the biggest eCommerce platforms with many users
- Free store setup
- Easy to get started and register a new store
- Many promotional campaigns which are often crucial
- Available in multiple countries, giving you the opportunity to sell in other markets than Vietnam
- A clean and modern interface which is easy to use
- No shipping fees which attracts more customers!
- Many sellers have entered the platform in recent time
- The platform still suffers from counterfeit products and price dumping
- A repetitive and repetitive product-checking process with long waiting times
- High shipping fee for express orders
Tiki is not an international eCommerce marketplace, but only available in Vietnam. Thus, it’s not the first option among foreigners who live in Vietnam as the website is only available in Vietnamese. This is not the case with Lazada and Shopee, which are available in both Vietnamese and English.
With that said, Tiki is highly popular thanks to the wide product assortment and competitive prices, that can sometimes not be found on other websites. Tiki also offers delivery within the same day, which is preferred among shoppers who are in a rush.
Personally, I bought a laptop on Tiki some months back as I couldn’t find a computer I liked in the retail stores (which are sparse in Vietnam). The laptop was delivered the same day, and I’m writing this article with the laptop!
Don’t be worried about warranties and returns as these can be managed on the website as well.
If you’re a foreign cross-border seller, Tiki might not be your best option to start out with though. Shopee and Lazada are more suitable for cross-border sellers that want to try and profit from the Vietnamese market.
If you want to check Tiki’s layout and how the marketplace looks like, I recommend you to visit the website directly.
Are there any other websites available?
Shopee, Lazada, and Tiki are by far the biggest eCommerce websites available in Vietnam. You also have access to new and fast-growing websites such as Sendo. Thegioididong is another website that only focuses on electronic products and that is large in Vietnam.
To wrap up, there are a handful of eCommerce websites available in Vietnam, and by far more in comparison to neighboring countries like Myanmar and Cambodia. The eCommerce market is still in its infancy and we will see more and more foreign brands entering the Vietnamese market in the coming years.
Perhaps, now is the right time.