Vietnam remains an attractive retail market: reports

Vietnamese consumers’ overall optimism remained one of the highest among countries globally.

HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam remains an attractive market for retailers as Vietnamese consumers remain optimistic about the economic challenges and are driving premium purchases.

Vietnamese consumers’ overall optimism remained one of the highest among countries globally, according to global management consulting firm McKinsey.

McKinsey wrote in a recent article on its website that Vietnamese consumers were optimistic that the country’s economy would rebound within two to three months and grow just as or even more strongly than before the COVID-19 pandemic.

There was also a clear intent by consumers to “splurge” and treat themselves, with more than 70 per cent of respondents saying they intend to increase spending on categories of products or services they spent less on over the past year and a half.

It was estimated that more than half of the Vietnamese population would enter the global middle class by 2035, creating more disposable income and fuelling consumption.

However, Vietnamese consumers were also becoming more discerning and value-conscious.

McKinsey analysis showed that Việt Nam’s prospects remained strong for the upcoming decade since GDP growth was on the rise again – with year-on-year growth of 2 to 7 per cent expected between 2023 and 2030.

However, the country was facing headwinds at the start of 2023 which were likely to impact the ability of its population to spend.

“More Vietnamese consumers anticipate a reduction in income and savings than consumers in other Asia – Pacific countries, with more than 90 per cent noting price increases, fears of inflation, gas shortages coupled with higher fuel prices, and rising interest rates. These mounting financial pressures and uncertainties are accelerating consumers’ shift to more discerning shopping choices.”

McKinsey said that Vietnamese consumers were becoming more sophisticated and seemed to be evolving in four ways: they were more value-conscious, preferred omnichannel platforms, had less brand and store loyalty, and looked for purpose in what they bought.

A report by global trend forecasting organisation WGSN also said that Việt Nam was a key growth market in the Asia – Pacific for brands and retailers this year.

WGSN also said that Vietnamese consumers were increasingly having trust in domestic brands and products with 76 per cent said preferring goods of domestic brands to foreign brands, urging brands and businesses to seamlessly blend in-person and online channels by investing in online presence, service discovery ‘click and collect’ (order online and pick up in store), pay in-store for online orders, and multi-service upgrades.

As Vietnamese consumers were embracing the convenience and ease of digital payments, brands needed to start integrating digital payments and diverse payment methods across channels to reduce problems and increase conversion rates, as the trend of using cash will decrease in the coming years, WGSN said. — VNS