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Online Shopping in 2020 GenZs vs. Millennials: Focus on Vietnam

By any measure, Vietnam is a growth story.

In the past 10 years, Vietnam's:

  • population has grown by nearly 12% and is estimated to reach 100 million by 2025

  • average income per head has doubled

  • internet users have tripled, to more than 70 million in 2020

But what does all this growth mean for Vietnam's internet economy? Are Vietnam's new internet users creating new opportunities for online merchants in the country?

To find out, ClickInsights, in partnership with Adobe, recently surveyed consumers across Southeast Asia (SEA) to learn about the current state of online shopping in the region. Responses were divided into two groups: those aged 16 to 22, also known as Generation Z or 'GenZ', and those aged 23 to 37, the 'Millennials'.

Below are summary results from respondents from Thailand, representing both generations, which provide insights into the digital behaviour of the country's next generations.

To see results from the other Southeast Asian countries and comparative analysis, please download the full report here: Southeast Asia Online Shopping in 2020: GenZs vs. Millennials.

1) More than half of Vietnamese Millennials shop online every week

To determine what impact ecommerce had on everyday life in Vietnam, we first asked respondents how often they shop online.

More than half (53%) of Millennials in the country do so every week and nearly all (87%) do so at least a couple of times a month. The younger generation isn't yet shopping as frequently as the older, but more than 2 in 3 (70%) of GenZs are buying from online merchants at least a couple of times a month.

So, to answer the question above, Vietnam's growth is indeed providing many opportunities for ecommerce sites!

2) Facebook is Vietnam's social media of choice; Instagram is way down the charts

Next, we wanted to know where each generation spends their time so that brands could gain a better understanding of where to invest to reach the country's young consumers.

Facebook remains, by a big margin, the most important social network in Vietnam. More than 2 in 3 (68%) GenZs and 3 in 4 (75%) Millennials in the country spend more than 30 minutes every day on the platform.

Interestingly, Facebook's sister site Instagram,

popular among GenZs in other SEA countries, was the least popular online activity with the younger generation. Only around 1 in 7 use it more than 30 minutes a day, which is less than TikTok for that cohort.

Vietnamese Millennials are slightly more likely to devote daily time to Instagram, but the visually-oriented social network only has around a third of the daily users of Facebook in the country.

3) TV is more popular than paid streaming video in Vietnam

While understanding the social landscape is useful for interacting with consumers, marketers are also fond of using video for broad reach and branding campaigns. So how should they proceed in Vietnam?

First off, free streaming video is the most popular way for both generations to watch videos. Two in 3 (66%) of GenZs and 3 in 4 (75%) Millennials spend at least half an hour every day watching YouTube-like videos on their site of choice.

Where Vietnam diverges from its SEA neighbours is that TV has remained very popular with younger generations. Half (50%) of GenZs and nearly 2 in 3 (61%) of Millennials in the country continue to watch videos via traditional TVs.

Paid streaming video still lags behind the other two, with only around 2 in 5 (41%) and just over half (55%) Millennials watching Netflix-like shows every day in the country.

4) GenZs shop on Google, but buy on social media

People spend a lot of time on social media in Vietnam, but has 'social commerce' taken off in the country?

For GenZs, it’s a mixed bag. Only around 1 in 3 (38%) use social media for product reviews, far fewer than those who use Google (83%).

Yet when it comes to buying items, social media is very popular. More than half (55%) of Vietnamese GenZs buy on social media, the same proportion who buy through online marketplaces.

Brand websites are not entirely out of the picture, though. Nearly 1 in 3 (32%) prefer to buy their merchandise directly from brands, perhaps to ensure that they are getting the genuine article.

5) Millennials look to influencers for fashion advice

Unlike the younger cohort, Millennials do a lot of pre-purchase research on social media. Specifically, they look to local social media celebrities or influencers for advice before buying the latest fashions.

Nearly 3 in 4 (74%) of Millennials in Vietnam find influencers 'helpful' when shopping for clothing online and more than half rely on influencers' opinions when buying shoes and accessories (59%, 50% respectively).

Despite Vietnam still being a 'growth' economy, Millennials are not making trivial purchases in the fashion category. Nearly a third (32%) bought more than US$100 worth of clothes online last year and around 1 in 5 spent the same on shoes and accessories.

So, Vietnam's growing population, wealth and internet usage is having an impact on the internet economy. Both of the young generations are avid online shoppers and purchase frequently via ecommerce on many different venues.

Brands marketers who are still exploring the opportunities in the country are, therefore, encouraged to download the full report Southeast Asia Online Shopping in 2020: GenZs vs. Millennials.

to find out more about Vietnam and how ecommerce is evolving in the other five SEA countries in 2020.


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