Smartphone popularity will change face of e-commerce

March 14, 2017 | 09:09 am GMT+7

A Google representative said that in the near future, Vietnam’s e-commerce performance will be ‘mobile only’.

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Young people are now absorbed in working and playing with their smartphones all day, and their behavior will lead to changes in an entire business field.

In the e-commerce world, mobile commerce is a higher priority than traditional channels such as sale websites or direct sales. This can be reflected in ‘mobile first’ business strategy of many companies.

At the Vietnam Online Business Forum 2017 (VOBF), Le Tu, a representative from Google, said that in the near future, mobile commerce will be the only channel that can bring money to e-commerce businesses. 

Tu cited figures to prove her argument. It is estimated that about 49 million people use the internet in Vietnam, or nearly 50 percent of the total population.

Of the 49 million users, 35 million access internet via smartphones and many of them first access the internet via smartphones.

The number of people buying goods online is 19 million. Of these, 9 million people have at least one shopping app in their smartphones to make it easier to do shopping.

The representative from Google came to the conclusion that smartphone users are now the most valuable and numerous buyers in Vietnam’s e-commerce world.

Big e-commerce businesses all have reported an increasingly high percentage of mobile commerce in their total revenue.

Leading e-commerce trading floors and retailers’ number of downloads of shopping adverts can see a growing trend in e-commerce.

Statistics show that the apps of The Gioi Di Dong and Lazada have the highest numbers of downloads. 

Tu said she has learned that in the last few years, the sales of Lazada via mobile appls have surpassed sales via computers and phone websites.

Mobile-only and app-only are a growing tendency in many countries, including Japan, South Korea and Singapore. 

Alibaba, the giant in Asia, in 2016 replaced all the apps and website platform on phones with only one app using Google’s technology. 

This allows Alibaba’s customers to experience smoother shopping on one app and watch users’ behaviors more accurately.  

In 2015, Flipkart unexpectedly closed all website platforms and shifted to app-only.

The moves by Alibaba and Flipkart show how the e-commerce giants in Asia are confident with trading models through mobile platforms.