As local governments ease COVID-19 restrictions and distribution channels reopen, retailers will have a great chance to increase their revenue in the final months of the year. Besides traditional sale channels, digital transformation will help them seize better opportunities.

To meet consumers’ demand during the past several months of social distancing, Big C, Go! and Tops Market, the brands of Central Retail, have adapted quickly by increasing their use of online channels and omnichannel sales.

Their products are on sale at both physical stores and on the e-commerce platforms such as mobile apps, social media fan pages and delivery partners. According to the company, its revenues from electronic platforms saw a sharp rise during the social distancing period.

Confectionery company Bibica recently released a digital retail solution so as to increase interaction and maximise consumer benefits. Two core components of the solution are a mobile app for consumers and a platform for sellers. The solution allows consumers to earn points to redeem gifts, expected to then encourage them to buy more.

Bibica Chairman Truong Phu Chien said the company plans to roll out the app to more than 150,000 general stores throughout the country, adding that it will not only boost sales but also helps stores connect to form a supply chain from manufacturer to consumer.

These are the two among many success stories in the world of digital transformation in retail business. Vietnam’s retail market is currently valued at US$142 billion and is expected to reach US$350 billion in 2025, contributing 59% of its GDP.

There are currently over 1 million general stores in Vietnam, of which only supermarkets and convenient stores are employing technology while the remaining 90% are still using manual methods to manage their stocks and record their sales activities. Therefore, there is huge potential for digital transformation in the retail business.

A study by VISA on consumer payment attitude in Southeast Asia shows that the transition from physical stores to e-commerce platforms takes only several months.

Such a transition gives advantage to those offering home delivery service, currently being used by 87% of Vietnamese consumers surveyed and experienced for the first time by 82% since the start of the pandemic. For every ten orders, six are delivered to homes, up nearly 20% compared to pre-pandemic figures.

More than three quarters (77%) of Vietnamese consumers are aware of shopping on social media platforms, with the highest level of perception and reception among the 18-23 age group.

Retailers are now advertising and selling their products to consumers through social networks, where sellers are able to not only find potential buyers but also reach consumers with personalised offers.

According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, retail sales and consumer services fell 7.1% during the January-September period, the first time it has shrank since the pandemic began.

But economist Vo Tri Thanh noted that retail revenues are expected to rebound strongly in the final months of the year as social distancing measures are relaxed. It is an opportunity for retailers to regain rapid growth in the final quarter of 2021.

According to Hoang Quang Phong, Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, digital transformation is an inevitable trend in the world and Vietnam is no exception. He stated that retail businesses, large or small, should consider digital transformation as a decisive factor in their survival and sustainable development in the future.

For digital transformation to be successful, enterprises in general and retailers in particular, need to change their mindset and take aggressive action, said Nguyen Tien Hung at the Ministry of Information and Communications.

Source: Nhan Dan Online