Once mainly used for communication and connection, social networks have recently emerged as a one-stop shop for both sellers and online shoppers in the form of social commerce. In Vietnam, Facebook outperformed some of the leading e-commerce marketplaces in terms of online shopping usage , especially in rural areas where these marketplaces are not as dominant.

Social commerce usage in Vietnam

Vietnam has seen a rising social media penetration rate in the last decade, with tech giant Meta’s Facebook being the most popular platform among Vietnamese people . According to a recent survey, among many reasons for using social media , over a third of the internet users in the country stated that they relied on these platforms to find products to purchase. At the same time, the share of enterprises that have sold products on social networks has been increasing. Social media networks even surpassed e-commerce sites and companies’ websites for receiving orders from customers . Before the COVID-19 pandemic, social commerce was most commonly used for buying clothes and personal care products, especially among younger females. Nowadays, more Vietnamese consumers have turned to online channels for essentials and consumer goods products. Social commerce usage has now extended beyond fashion and cosmetics, with purchases ranging from snacks to home appliances . For instance, in rural Vietnam, sales on Facebook accounted for the majority of the total FMCG products bought online in 2021.

Facebook in the lead for social commerce

While Facebook is not the only social media platform in use for social commerce in Vietnam, it is by far the leading shopping destination, having a much higher penetration rate for online shopping than other social channels. Shopping on Facebook is easy, convenient, and entertaining, according to the majority of Vietnamese users. Apart from Facebook, the made-in-Vietnam social messaging app Zalo is the second most-used channel for social commerce, while other international social media platforms such as Instagram and TikTok have also been demonstrating growth potential, especially among younger audiences.

Live streaming: a key advantage of social commerce

Live streaming is an integral part of the social commerce strategy of many businesses in Vietnam. While commercial live streaming has taken China’s e-commerce sector by storm, it is still in the growth phase in Vietnam. Yet, commercial live streaming was the most viewed type of live streaming content in the country in 2022, beating other popular content categories, including entertainment. For Vietnamese viewers, the attraction of commercial live streaming comes from the opportunity to examine products before purchasing and to hunt for price promotions. At the moment, this form of streaming is still mainly used for product and brand discovery in Vietnam, although it has the potential to become an effective sales driver in the future.


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