Supermarkets in Vietnam are offering services via mobile applications with many discounts and promotions during the busy shopping season of Tet, or the Lunar New Year holiday that is only a week away.
The retail chains’ catching up with the digital shopping trend not only brings convenience to customers but also helps them avoid wasting time queuing for checkouts at the brick-and-mortar outlets.
The weeks before Tet, which begins on February 2, is normally a nationwide shopping spree, with supermarkets packed with buyers and cashier desks flooded with people standing next to fully-loaded shopping carts.
Some supermarkets have thus developed mobile apps that allow consumers to stay at home and enjoy shopping with multiple payment options and free delivery at their chosen time.
The items available for purchase on these platforms include not only fashion and household appliances but also fresh and frozen foods, and Tet treats.
Vietnam’s leading supermarket chain Co.opmart, for instance, has taken advantange of the QR (quick response) scanning code technology to help its customers shop anytime, anywhere with their mobile devices.
Customers only need to use their smartphones to scan the QR codes on Co.opmart’s shopping brochures, webpages and advertisements at bus stations to select the items they want to buy.
The supermarket chain has so far issued some 600,000 shopping brochures with QR codes, according to marketing manager Do Quoc Huy.
Foreign players such as South Korea’s Lotte Mart and Japanese Aeon Mall also have their own online shopping apps to meet Vietnamese consumers’ need.
Another leading retailer from South Korea, Emart, is listing nearly one-third of its products, equivalent to 9,000 out of more than 30,000 items available at the chain’s physical locations, on its mobile app, according to marketing manager Le Huu Tinh.
Retailers that allow customers to shop online offer numerous promotions and discounts to encourage purchases as well.
For instance, Emart offers discounts of ten to 20 percent on Tet gift hampers bought via the app, and price reductions between 30 and 40 percent for drinks purchased online.
Thanks to these attractive offers, fresh products such as fruits and vegetables have understandably become the best-selling category on the Emart app, followed by beverages including beer, milk, and soft drinks, Tinh said.
The marketing manager added these are impressive results, given the fact that Vietnamese consumers normally buy these products offline.
As these customers are all loyal members of Emart, they may already know about the product quality, so it does not matter whether they shop via the app or at the stores, he said.
While the mobile apps help shoppers avoid queuing at checkout counters during the peak shopping days of the Tet holiday, they also allow retailers to reduce crowding at their locations and enable them to have better goods management.
According to a director of a large supermarket chain, retailers have to invest more in facilities and human resources, especially in customer care, to offer better online sales to customers.
“When a supermarket has a clear set of standards on its goods quality and adequately follow it, it is not necessary [for consumers] to go to the place of purchase,” the director said.