Commodity exports via e-commerce promoted during COVID-19 pandemic
Representatives from State management bodies and companies spoke to Vietnam News Agency about the advantages and challenges Vietnamese businesses face in e-commerce, especially commodity exports.
Tran Thanh Hai, Deputy Director of Import-Export Department, Ministry of Industry and Trade.
E-commerce is an advanced form of commerce during the rapid development of information and technology.
E-commerce enables business-to-business and business-to-consumer transactions, in which Vietnamese consumers are now familiar with e-commercial floors like Lazada, Sendo or Voso.
Business-to-business transactions provide great support for the development of the business community, especially import/export via major e-commerce floors like Alibaba and Amazon.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, physical trade promotion activities were interrupted while online ones have been implemented and promoted.
Thus, e-commerce has been widely helping businesses overcome difficulties and limitations caused by the pandemic.
Through e-commerce, businesses can still connect with their customers and partners, and even connect more than conventional commercial activities.
To promote exports on e-commerce platforms, first of all, enterprises need to meet common requirements for commercial activities such as product quality, online marketing skills, payment methods, security and trust of customers.
As a State management agency, the Ministry of Industry and Trade has developed a 5-year action plan to develop e-commerce.
The plan is updated every 5 years.
This plan includes activities not only conducted by the Ministry of Industry and Trade but also other ministries, agencies, localities and associations.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade has also regularly organised training courses to help associations and businesses get necessary e-commerce skills.
For the last two years, online trading and support activities have been done in all regions, locations, markets as well as different customer groups.
Roger Lou, Country Director of Alibaba.com Vietnam
In 2021, Alibaba.com is aiming to increase Viet Nam's total export turnover by lowering barriers for export enterprises, developing human resources with cross-border e-commerce capability, and increasing training resources as well as customer services quality. These will help SMEs use our platform to full potential when they are on-board.
Under the pandemic, the traditional B2B buyer’s behaviour has quickly changed from offline sourcing to online.
From September 2019 to September 2020, the active buyers in Alibaba.com increased 84 per cent and the Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) - a metric that measures the total value of sales over a certain time - increased more than 110 per cent.
Among all categories, agriculture products, food and beverages are always in the top industries with the most active sellers and makes up 24 per cent of accounts on Alibaba.com Viet Nam.
These numbers show that more and more sellers are using Alibaba.com as their choice to do international business and many buyers will find high quality products more easily.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, shoppers quickly shifted in-person shopping to online shopping.
In 2021, Alibaba.com has created a digital solution road map about Viet Nam B2B International trade, which is based on supplier views and needs.
With the support and offer from Alibaba.com, enterprises will certainly be provided with full services and training courses for absolute development.
Alibaba.com also wants to promote Vietnamese businesses growth by building a cross-border e-commerce ecosystem in cooperation with partners to best support Vietnamese firms in cross-border trade, namely professional local channel partners, local logistics companies, government and non-government organisations, associations and local banks.
Tran Thi Yen Phi, Managing director of DSW Trading and Service Ltd Company
As my company has been operating on an e-commerce platform since 2019, I highly appreciate business activities on e-commerce platforms, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since last year, we have exported products to Asian markets like Korea and Japan, to European ones like France and Germany and even underdeveloped countries.
Through e-commerce, businesses can connect to markets around the world and supply Vietnamese goods to the markets.
With a network of suppliers from different areas/regions, businesses can also find partners who could supply products that match the needs of Vietnamese people.
This makes the supply chain circular and transparent, especially effective during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The pandemic has been affecting the global business community.
All over the world, people are also working from home and operating online supply chains. Therefore, to catch up with the trend and survive, Vietnamese enterprises also need to change their ways and operation.
Once participating in cross-border e-commerce platforms, businesses should focus on their key products, learn carefully the regulations and laws of the host countries.
They also need to determine their target consumers and the consumers demand in specific e-commercial platforms that they join.