This year’s Tet, Vietnamese New Year, is on February 10th. That’s less than 20 days away. In reality, it’s even less as Vietnamese people mentally shut down a week before the New Year. However, Lazada and its Rocket Internet sibling e-commerce sites (Zalora, OfficeFab, HungryPanda) are coming together to emphasize that this is the year when e-commerce in Vietnam comes of age.
Lazada Vietnam’s managing director, Christopher Beselin, explained:
The basic idea is: this is the Tet where you will start to shop online. We will look back at this Tet as the one where the tipping point happened.
It all starts this Wednesday at midday. Lazada will kick off pre-Tet shopping with three days of new promotions:
- Day 1: Massive gift card giveaway activity to encourage people all across Vietnam to have their first online shopping experience.
- Day 2: Competition for an attractive Apple product (rumour has it that it’ll be an iPhone 5)
- Day 3: First 99 customers at noon will get a nice prize with their order
The campaign, dubbed Vietnam Online NOW, stems from Lazada’s belief that 2013 is the year of e-commerce. In the one year since the Amazon-like store opened in Vietnam, Lazada has expanded beyond Ho Chi Minh city into Hanoi and surrounding rural areas. This growth comes from its diverse product range that offline stores in rural areas cannot compete with. It’s a significant competitive advantage for e-commerce in Vietnam where offline retail cannot adapt as fast as online stores. Thus, the job of e-commerce sites in 2013 will mainly be in convincing consumers that e-commerce is safe, reliable, and easy.
Rocket Internet’s Lazada business runs in five countries in Southeast Asia and raised over $100 million in funding in just four months last year.
Despite growing concerns over the macro-economy of Vietnam, e-commerce may continue to grow into offline stores’ traditional market share as well as in accessing markets outside urban areas.
By the time of this post, Lazada has already clocked in over 25 million visits to its site in Vietnam alone. Total unique visits in the country is around 15 million.