Vietnam's digital economy speeds up during pandemic

June 26, 2020 | 09:04 am GMT+7

The pandemic has created big changes in society as people shop, gather and learn online, and use smartphones and TVs for entertainment more regularly.

 “When the new habits and behaviors help consumers discover positive things, they will be retained even when the pandemic is over,” said Truong Van Quy, CEO of EQVN, a digital marketing expert.

Elsa, a startup which provides an app to teach English pronunciation, has launched a free 3-month service package, while Amanotes, the distributor of music games on mobile devices in Vietnam, has provided free upgraded version for high-end service, granting the right to access all songs.

According to InsightAsia and Vero, Vietnamese want to try services for free, which is the decisive factor for the development of technological services. Applicability, and easy use and payment also play an important role.

With the apps from scheduling meetings to providing food, technology firms promoted their strength to connect people. In the Covid-19 crisis, services have become the platform for people’s new reality, according to Barkha Narula from InsightAsia Thailand.

The multi-service platforms emerging from ride-hailing have also restarted very quickly. BeGroup, which owns the "be" ride-hailing app, said it used the social distancing time for research and development. It has recently introduced many new features of the app, which allows many destinations and changes in destination.

Meanwhile, Grab has announced a program to help increase interaction among small businesses in Southeast Asia. The program aims to expand Grab's network of partners by encouraging more units to do business on their platform.

Hooi Ling Tan, co-founder of Grab, commented that Covid-19 encouraged changes. “We realized that demand for online services soared overnight,” she said.

Vietnam Tech Consumer Report 2020, a survey on technology product consumers in Hanoi and HCM City conducted by InsightAsia and Vero, found that Vietnamese consumers now desire technological products and services.

At least 65 percent of polled people said technology has positive impact on their lives. Eighty-four percent of people said technology helps them perform better in their work and 66 percent said technology improves their relations with others.

Sixty-six percent of Vietnamese say technology is a big part in their lives, while the figures were 39 percent in Thailand and 52 percent in Myanmar.

The positive effects of technology include improvement of working performance, relationships, and relaxation, and stress relief. The biggest negative effect that most people mentioned was that technology can lead to insomnia.