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Cross-border e-commerce offers almost limitless possibilities

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This is a phenomenon that no one would have imagined a while ago and yet, for sales without B2C borders (business-to-customer in English or business to customer in French), B2B (business-to-business or business to business), it has been a long time since it was necessary to have physical stores abroad. An international online sales site is enough to establish itself in foreign markets and serve customers there at lightning speed.

Customers tend to buy more and more products from outside
borders of their country.
Photo: VNA/CVN

You reach people who are only a click away from your products, and indeed the opportunities for growth are immense in cross-border e-commerce. It is knowingly that traders who offer niche products are betting on cross-border e-commerce. On the domestic market, the potential is exhausted faster and new markets must be conquered. It even often happens that a product is more successful abroad than on the domestic market. With the internet, distance is no longer a constraint. Today, a very small company can compete with a large one.

The competition is now global. Conquering new customers around the world becomes easier. With just one click, consumers can place an order directly with a producer. However, to develop cross-border online commerce, the dematerialization of administrative procedures and the digital transformation of companies are not enough.

Rise in exports via Amazon and Alibaba

In accordance with the e-commerce development plan for the period 2021-2025 and the national digital transition program by 2025, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce has created the ECVN platform. Its objective is to promote cross-border e-commerce by connecting Vietnamese exporters and foreign importers. These devices were approved in May 2021 by Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh with a view to making e-commerce a flagship sector of the national economy. All that glitters is not gold in cross-border e-commerce. The euphoria may be at its height, but this type of business is complex and often underestimated. Because, unlike domestic e-commerce, it faces very real borders and, therefore, import provisions, laws and risks that vary depending on the country of destination.

Recently, the Ministry of Industry and Trade had launched many measures to promote exports through e-commerce. Through the Amazon (USA) e-commerce platform, Vietnamese companies can access customers in large and demanding markets, such as North America, Japan or the European Union… Companies wishing to increase their sales on Amazon must understand it. This is an urgent requirement.

After more than a year of presence on Amazon, the export turnover of Vietnamese companies has only reached one million USD, a relatively modest figure, especially in the context where Vietnam has a wide range of agricultural, food and furniture products… According to GijaeSeong, country manager of Amazon Global Selling Vietnam, there are more and more products “made in Vietnam” on Amazon such as household appliances, fashion accessories, kitchen appliances and home accessories…which are highly praised by customers, thanks to their good quality and competitive prices. In addition, medical masks, gloves, and protective clothing are also three important product groups where Amazon works with manufacturers.

Wide opportunities and potentials

The community of Amazon sellers in Vietnam amounts to more than 100,000 members. This platform assessed that Vietnamese sellers were quite successful and consistently increased sales of items such as women’s and children’s clothing, home and office decoration products, wooden handbag, 3D card and confetti. “Vietnam is a country with vast opportunities and potentials. This is why Amazon has invested heavily in it and has grown steadily in recent years. This country has strengths in manufacturing industries and a large number of suppliers with professional business plans“commented Eric Broussard, a manager of Amazon Global Selling.

Cross-border e-commerce promotes the expansion of export markets for Vietnamese companies. Photo: VNA/CVN

There are more and more Vietnamese companies securing new export orders with the support of Amazon and Alibaba (China). To effectively operate the online export channel, since 2019, the Ministry of Industry and Trade has been cooperating with major e-commerce groups. So far, more than 1,000 enterprises have registered for the training, more than 300 have participated in export consulting activities and improved e-commerce capabilities.

The general manager ofalibaba.comZhang Kuo, hoped that through cooperation with partners in Vietnam and around the world, by 2024, Alibaba could reach a total transaction value of more than 100 billion USD, support more than 10 million SMEs from all over the world and more than 10,000 suppliers from Vietnam commercially operating on its platform.

Global Market Trends

alibaba.com comments on global market trends and predicts potential export products for Vietnamese small and medium enterprises in the report Vietnam B2B Digital Transformation Overview 2022. The report identifies areas that have seen strong growth during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. These are the energy, metals and mining, office equipment and pharmaceuticals sectors. Through the survey, this platform highlighted two potential sectors where Vietnamese small and medium enterprises should seize opportunities. The first is agriculture with three product groups: cooking oil, nuts and seeds, seeds and tubers. The second is beauty and personal care.

alibaba.com also lists the three best-selling product groups: hair extensions and wigs, skin care products and tools, makeup ones. Third place went to Home and Garden.
According to this platform, the best-selling products in this category are dining and kitchen utensils, pet products and garden tools.

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