However, safety does not mean success because to succeed in a vibrant developing market requires effort and creative thinking. Vietnam is considered to have great potential for start-ups in the e-commerce sector, with 72.1 million internet users, accounting for 73.2% of the population, ranking 12th in terms of internet users globally, by September 2022.
Two years of the COVID-19 pandemic have changed the shopping habits of the majority of consumers, shifting from direct shopping to online shopping. This is one of the important levers that create the amazing development of Vietnam's e-commerce industry.
According to a report by the Ministry of Industry and Trade, in 2022, the size of the Vietnamese retail e-commerce market was estimated at 16.4 billion USD, accounting for 7.5% of the country's revenue from consumer goods and services. Last year, the number of online shopping users reached 57-60 million people, accounting for 74.8% of internet users, of which the online shopping value of a Vietnamese person is about 260-285 USD. In addition, with a growth rate of 20% per year, Vietnam is also ranked by eMarketer, a US market research company, in the group of five countries with the world's leading e-commerce growth rate.
The booming e-commerce market has great potential, creating many opportunities for Vietnamese start-ups. Starting a business in e-commerce is also in line with the Government's policy of promoting the development of the digital economy. The legal framework for e-commerce activities is increasingly complete; start-ups are encouraged, and favourable conditions and open mechanisms are created for development. On the other hand, Vietnam's e-commerce market is still quite young, so there is still much room for Vietnamese start-ups.
In addition to many advantages, start-ups in the field of e-commerce also face many obstacles. There is a high level of competition due to the very early participation of big names such as Shopee, Lazada, Amazon, Tiki and Sendo. In addition, obstacles are coming from an underdeveloped payment system, goods infrastructure, packaging, warehousing, goods rotation, customs clearance, and the lack of trust from some consumers when buying online.
However, the key point of an innovative start-up is an idea, in which difference is a decisive factor, so the challenge is not small coming from the start-ups themselves, requiring creativity and right-oriented thinking. At the same time, they must find sustainable solutions to have new users and retain existing users.
Although there is no exact number of start-ups in the field of e-commerce, it is estimated that about 387 start-ups were formed and operated with certain success. Compared to the development potential of Vietnam's e-commerce, it is thought that this number is still quite modest. Therefore, it is necessary to continue promoting start-ups, creating a vibrant market with healthy competition, and contributing to making this field one of the key areas of the digital economy.