Today there are more than 10 million internet subscribers in Viet Nam, or nearly 12.5 percent of the national population, a proportion that matches the global ratio in 2004.
According to the Trade Ministry’s e-commerce department, the number of Vietnamese websites had reached nearly 20,000 by the end of 2005.
For comparison, the number of websites ending in “.vn” went from 2,300 in 2002 to 5,510 in 2003 to 9,037 in 2004.
The years 2003 and 2004 saw the debut of e-commerce websites using the B2B (business-to-business) and B2C (business-to-customer) trading models.
Nowadays scores of goods are commonly purchased online through these websites, items like electrical appliances, digital cameras, CDs and VCDs, cell phone ring tones, greeting cards, flowers, art and handicrafts.
Internet users also have access to a variety of e-commerce services, such as travel, consulting, IT, information, education and training.
Whether or not to invest in IT, and how much, is determined by a company’s management. So, despite the booming internet market, e-commerce in Viet Nam is a fledging business and one that needs government support.
The quality of commercial websites is not as what might be expected because most Vietnamese companies use e-commerce as a marketing channel in order to advertise their products, services and brands.
Experts say that training and suitable investment strategies by local businesses are vital, and the government must do its share to help.
What’s more, the important parts of e-commerce development must be placed under government control.