If you have ambitions of expanding your business internationally, Vietnam presents itself as an ideal choice. Vietnam’s infrastructure is unparalleled, with one of the fastest Internet connections in Asia available in most major cities and even at street level, ensuring widespread accessibility.
The country’s business regulations are conducive to foreign ownership and facilitate smooth cross-border trade with minimal bureaucratic hurdles. Additionally, the combination of low labor costs and a high level of English proficiency, particularly among younger generations, makes Vietnam an attractive destination for numerous entrepreneurs who flock here each year.
In this blog post, GMA will provide 10 tips when doing business in Vietnam.
Tip 1. A Localized Website
Localizing your website for the Vietnamese market involves adapting various aspects to cater to the preferences and cultural nuances of Vietnamese consumers.
- Translate Content
Translate all website content, including product descriptions, landing pages, blog posts, and navigation menus, into Vietnamese. Hire professional translators who are fluent in both English and Vietnamese to ensure accurate and culturally appropriate translations.
Besides English language, Shiseido also uses the Vietnamese language to state the product’s features
Avoid using automated translation tools as they may produce inaccurate or awkward translations.
- Consider Design and Layout
Pay attention to the design and layout of your website to align with Vietnamese customers’ preferences.
Use colors, fonts, and imagery that resonate with the Vietnamese culture. For example, red and yellow are considered lucky colors in Vietnam, while certain fonts may be more appealing to the local audience.
Conduct research or work with a local web designer to ensure your website’s visual elements are culturally appropriate.
- Optimize for Local Search Engines
Research and incorporate relevant Vietnamese keywords into your website’s content to improve its visibility on local search engines like Google Vietnam (google.com.vn).
Conduct keyword research specific to the Vietnamese market to understand the phrases and terms used by local consumers when searching for products or services similar to yours.
- Localize Forms and Contact Information
Customize contact forms and provide contact information that aligns with local preferences. Include options for Vietnamese addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses.
Make it easy for Vietnamese visitors to get in touch with your customer support team by providing local contact numbers or instant messaging platforms that are popular in Vietnam such as Facebook Messenger and Zalo.
- Optimize Website Loading Speed
Vietnamese internet users appreciate fast-loading websites. Optimize your website’s loading speed by compressing images, minimizing code, and leveraging caching techniques.
Consider hosting your website on a server located in Vietnam to reduce latency and improve the browsing experience for local visitors.
Tip 2. Develop A Strong Social Media Presence
To establish a strong presence on social media platforms in Vietnam, foreign brands must adopt a customized approach that takes into consideration the local market dynamics and cultural subtleties. Understanding their interests, needs and challenges will enable brands to create compelling content that strikes a chord with the audience.
Additionally, it is important to recognize that not all social media platforms hold the same significance. In Vietnam, Facebook and Instagram dominate the social media landscape, but platforms like TikTok, Zalo, and YouTube are also gaining popularity. Consequently, each brand is advised to carefully select the platforms where their target audience is most active.
Furthermore, foreign businesses can encourage customers to share their experiences with their brands on social media. Incorporating local language, visuals, and cultural references establishes a deeper connection with the audience, generating buzz and serving as social proof for potential customers. If you need a comprehensive guide on strengthening your presence on Facebook, click here to learn more:
Tip 3: Collaborate With Local Influencers
In fact, over three-quarters of Vietnamese online buyers put their trust in influencers for their buying decisions.
Vietnam influencers are familiar with the local culture, trends, and preferences. They understand the nuances of their audience and can create content that resonates with them authentically.
Collaborating with local influencers allows brands to tap into their knowledge and expertise, ensuring that their messaging and content align with the local context and are relatable to the target audience.
Therefore, international brands should collaborate with influencers through various formats such as sponsored posts, product reviews, giveaways, influencer takeovers, or co-created content.
Explore options that allow the influencer to authentically showcase your products or services while incorporating their unique style and storytelling abilities.
Tip 4: Video Content
In 2021, an overwhelming majority of internet users in Vietnam, exceeding 95%, consistently engaged with online video content on a monthly basis. The primary video streaming platforms in Vietnam include:
As Vietnamese users increasingly allocate their time to consuming online video content, a significant marketing opportunity arises for both local and international businesses. To capitalize on this opportunity, consider:
- Establishing a business channel that offers valuable video content
- Collaborating with content creators to endorse your products or services
- Implementing video ad campaigns that are inserted between video
Besides short clips on social media also have become an effective marketing solution amid the rise of mobile phones and Gen Z’s predilection to watch videos on their phones.
Due to the increasing amount of information and becoming saturated, people’s ability to pay attention when encountering information is decreasing. Viewers tend to choose short, vivid forms of content to access. For this reason, videos, especially short-form videos, gradually “overthrow” image and text formats on social networking platforms.
In June 2020, TikTok launched Tiktok for Business in Vietnam. This gives Marketers access to the Tiktok Ads Manager to run conversion funnels targeting the burgeoning Vietnamese youth demographic.
For instance, Viettel conducted a TikTok campaign featuring popular Vietnamese singer Bích Phương and football player Quang Hải to promote their customer service. Below are some screenshots showcasing Viettel’s TikTok campaign.
Each platform will bring its own advantages and limitations, foreign brands should clearly define who their target audience is so that they can devise appropriate strategies to get started with short video content. In addition, clearly define the milestones in the strategy, clearly define the goals for each stage.
Tip 5: Online Shopping
Over 60% of internet users made online purchases in Vietnam in 2022.
The first quarter of 2023 E-commerce report released by Metric – E-commerce data platform revealed that the total revenue on the five largest e-commerce platforms (Shopee, Lazada, Tiki, Sendo, TikTok Shop) in the first three months of the year reached VND 39,000 billion, up 21.8% over the same period in 2022.
To be able to survive and develop, international businesses on the e-commerce platform need to prepare carefully for all factors. For an example of leveraging Shopee E-commerce:
- Set Up a Shopee Store: Register as a seller and provide all the necessary information, such as your business details, product listings, and store policies. Customize your store’s appearance with your brand logo, banners, and appealing visuals to create a professional and attractive storefront.
- Optimize Product Listings: Use high-quality product images, compelling descriptions, and accurate details about features, specifications, and pricing. Incorporate relevant keywords in your product titles and descriptions to improve visibility in search results.
- Competitive Pricing and Promotions: Take advantage of Shopee’s promotional features, such as discounts, flash sales, and bundle offers, to drive sales and create a sense of urgency among buyers.
- Offer Free Shipping and Discounts: Shopee provides shipping options like Shopee Shipping and Shopee Express, which you can integrate into your fulfillment process.
- Leverage Shopee Live and Shopee Live Chats: Engage with potential customers in real time using Shopee Live and Shopee Live Chats. Consider hosting live streaming sessions to showcase your products, demonstrate their usage, answer questions, and offer exclusive promotions. This interactive approach can help build trust, create a sense of urgency, and encourage immediate purchases.
Tip 6: Music Video Marketing is Win in Vietnam
For several years, music marketing has proven to be a successful strategy in Vietnam. Few things captivate Vietnamese consumers more than catchy songs created by their favorite artists.
In late 2020, Honda Vietnam sponsored the track “Đi về nhà” (Let’s go home) by JustaTee and Đen Vâu. Within just two days of its release, the sponsored music video skyrocketed to the number one trending spot on Vietnamese YouTube, accumulating 7.2 million views.
The song’s lyrics center around the theme of returning to one’s hometown and reuniting with family for the Vietnamese New Year, evoking nostalgia that strongly resonated with the many Vietnamese youths who study or work far away from home. Establishing this kind of connection with the audience is no easy task, but when executed effectively, the results are evident.
Honda’s “Đi về nhà” campaign serves as a prime example of successful music marketing in Vietnam. The music video/ad generated viral discussions on social media and received widespread acclaim for both the brand and the artists involved.
Following the release of two popular reality TV shows focused on Vietnamese rap in 2020, local rappers have gained significant prominence in the domestic music marketing landscape. As of late 2021, foreign brands now have a plethora of genres and subcultures to choose from for their music-driven marketing campaigns.
Undeniably, music video marketing can be a substantial investment. Nevertheless, it remains an excellent strategy for ensuring that your brand retains a prominent position in the minds of Vietnamese consumers.
Tip 7: Use Local Testimonials and Reviews
Local testimonials and reviews have a significant impact on purchase decisions. When potential customers read positive feedback from fellow Vietnamese consumers, it helps alleviate doubts and encourages them to proceed with their purchase.
They offer direct feedback on what aspects of your brand or products resonate well with the local market, enabling you to tailor your offerings and marketing strategies accordingly
Moreover, brands also encourage customers to leave reviews on local review platforms specific to Vietnam, such as Foody, Zalo Reviews, or Google My Business.
Tip 8: Fast Customer Support
By offering customer support in Vietnamese, you eliminate the language barrier that may exist between your brand and Vietnamese customers.
Ensure that support staff possess strong communication skills and a good understanding of customer service principles. They also need to reply fast, as Vietnamese consumers are impatient. Replying late and customers already choose another option. Most of online purchases are impulsive, so customers may change their mind by the time your customer service replies to them.
Corporate apps such as Facebook Messenger, Zalo and Hotline so that customers can reach you and get replied instantly.
Tip 9: Offer Local Payment Options
Vietnamese customers are more likely to trust and feel confident in making a purchase when they see payment methods they commonly use, such as local mobile wallets (Momo, ZaloPay) or bank transfers.
Besides, Cash on delivery (COD) is still a popular payment method in Vietnam. By offering COD or other local cash payment options, you cater to customers who prefer or are accustomed to paying with cash. This allows you to tap into a broader customer base and meet their specific preferences.
So, Local payment options provide convenience to Vietnamese customers by allowing them to pay using methods they are familiar with and prefer. By offering local payment options, you eliminate barriers to purchase and create a seamless payment experience, increasing the likelihood of completed transactions.
Tip 10: CHATBOTS
Chatbots play a crucial role in customer service processes, particularly for businesses that handle a large influx of support inquiries.
In Vietnam, there are customers and consumers who expect round-the-clock availability. As a result, chatbots are increasingly gaining popularity among both consumers and businesses.
By leveraging data from previous interactions, businesses can develop personalized sales strategies for each customer. This tailored approach enhances the likelihood of a successful sale since customers perceive the product or service as specifically designed to meet their individual needs.
Consequently, Vietnam has emerged as a prime destination for foreign investors, presenting a multitude of prospects for businesses seeking entry into the market. This is an exhilarating period for international enterprises, given the ongoing expansion of the digital landscape, which brings forth fresh and inventive avenues to engage with customers.
Rest assured, we are here to assist you! Please feel free to reach out to us.