Vietnamese consumers are increasingly “smart” and more careful in shopping, especially for high-priced products. The era of the internet and social networks has made it easier for consumers to access product information, so they will quickly compare prices and review product quality before making a purchase decision.
Although traditional shopping channels such as markets, supermarkets, grocery stores, and commercial centers are still popular, Vietnamese consumers are increasingly shopping online. By learning about how Vietnamese people discover and evaluate new products before purchasing, brands will be able to identify key channels to focus their marketing efforts.
1. Different online channels to learn about products
The older generations, Boomers and Gen X tend to favor internet searches, in-store browsing, TV ads, and word of mouth. While the younger generations, Gen Z and Millennials, tend to rely on social media, online reviews, and YouTube, in addition to Google searching.
2. Google searching is still a priority
While other channels are definitely growing in popularity, the trusted Google search is not going anywhere fast.
SEO has definitely gotten harder in recent years, simply because more sites are out there. More sites mean more content. And since age is a factor, newer brands have to fight even harder to rank up.
Keywords are the starting point of any search process and optimization process. Keywords are specific words or phrases that describe what the searcher is looking for or what they want information on. Keywords can hint at their search intent too, if they contain 3 or more words.
If you wanted to find a new shoe product, you’d search for it by using the keywords “ cosmetics for women/men”. These keywords help you look for what you want.
When it comes to searching for product information, people look for it in the reviews. Reviews give useful information about a particular product. Suppose you’re looking to buy a new phone, say a Samsung Galaxy. You would be looking for Samsung Galaxy reviews before making a purchase. You want to know how the mobile performs, the quality of the camera, RAM, features, look, etc. Reviewing platforms like Mouth Shut, product hunt, etc. can be useful tools for product searching.
- Voice search
Voice search is growing fast and by 2021, about 4 to 5 billion people are expected to use voice search. Voice search is more convenient, specific, accurate, and longer than typed search. Let’s look at voice search stats.
- 4 of 10 millennials use voice search to browse a product before buying it
- 18% increment in online shopping using voice assistants can be expected by 2020
Popular voice search assistants like Google and Alexa help users find information quickly. Just speak into the voice search engine and it will present you with a list of relevant results. If you want your content or website to show up for voice search, then you need to optimize it for the same.
- Image search
Image search is quickly becoming more defined, more popular, and more accurate. It’s quite useful in product searches and will soon influence eCommerce sites. People can now simply scan products around them and find similar ones. You can try it right now. Just open Google Lens and scan any object around you. Click the search button and it will show you results of products that look similar to the one you just scanned.
Image search will make it much easier to find desired products, and it’s gaining momentum even though it is still in its infancy.
3. Social Media is for discovering new products
Social media, particularly visual content, increasingly serves as a gateway to product purchases, and not just online.
Social media also is effective at introducing new products to shoppers: Vietnamese consumers say the link in a post led them to a product they weren’t originally interested in purchasing.
- Facebook is far and away the market leader when it comes to product research and eventual purchasing. Its audience includes multiple age groups and spans Vietnam, making it a solid place for most brands to market themselves. Once you create a business page, you can share posts about your products and offerings.
- YouTube users in Vietnam are three times more likely to prefer watching a YouTube tutorial video compared to reading the product’s instructions.
- Instagram now offers Shoppable posts. With Shoppable posts, Vietnamese consumers can discover a new product in an Instagram post that links to the Facebook Catalog.
4. E-commerce website
In the past few years, the e-commerce industry in Vietnam has grown at an alarming rate and will continue to develop in the next 10 years. Since Shopee, Lazada, Sendo,… provide people with the opportunity to start an online business with very little cost, now is a good time to start selling on the sales channel.
People do not land on e-commerce websites to make purchases only. They search for products on these platforms just like on Google. Now consumers even tend to pass Google and go straight to Shopee and Lazada to search for the products they want. Not to mention that thanks to the shoppertainment trend, consumers cling to these websites for much longer time, watch livestreams and make impulsive purchases. That means e-commerce website can replace Google in searching and social media in discovering new items to buy.
- Keyword Search: Similar to users in other countries, Vietnamese consumers often use the search bar on E-commerce websites to look for specific products. They enter relevant keywords or phrases related to the item they are seeking. The E-commerce platforms then display relevant product listings based on these search queries.
For example, if a user searches for a search term like “T-shirt” in the search bar, a series of search results related to the product will appear.
- Category Browsing: Vietnamese consumers may navigate through the different categories and subcategories on E-commerce websites to find products that fit their needs. This method is particularly popular when they are exploring a specific product category or have a general idea of what they want to purchase.
- Product Recommendations: Many E-commerce platforms in Vietnam use recommendation algorithms to suggest products to users based on their browsing history, purchase behavior, and interests. Vietnamese consumers often rely on these personalized recommendations to discover new products or find items that align with their preferences.
- Filter and Sorting Options: E-commerce websites in Vietnam typically offer filter and sorting options to help users refine their search results. Consumers can filter products by price, brand, ratings, and other attributes, making it easier to find products that match their requirements.
4. Traditional Media
Vietnamese consumers also rely on traditional media such as TV, radio, and newspapers to learn about new products. Brands often advertise their products on these channels, and consumers can read or listen to product reviews or recommendations.
5. Word of Mouth
Word of mouth is still a powerful way for Vietnamese consumers to learn about new products. They may ask their friends, family, or colleagues for recommendations or read reviews from other consumers online.
While the older generations value actual word of mouth from friends or family, the younger generations rely on influencers and online reviews just as much. Whether it’s loyalty programs, encouraging reviews from loyal customers, or leveraging the power of influencers to grow your brand, word of mouth is a powerful tool.
In conclusion, Vietnamese consumers are transitioning from traditional methods to digital platforms when searching for new products. Understanding and adapting to this shift is crucial for businesses to connect with consumers effectively and gain a competitive edge in the market. Embracing both digital and traditional marketing strategies will drive brand engagement and success in Vietnam’s evolving consumer landscape.
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