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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs   May 28 2018  

SMS solution to promote e-commerce

 Gaining the trust of customers is still a challenge to the development of the e-commerce industry, despite its huge potential.

Dang Hoang Hai, director of the Viet Nam E-commerce and Digital Economy Agency (VECITA), under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, said this at a conference in H? Noi this week to launch a programme to develop SMS infrastructure and telecommunication services for e-commerce.

“The e-commerce sector has seen impressive development figures in recent years,” Hai said, adding that last year, the total retail sales of the industry were some US$6.2 billion, a 24 per cent increase from the previous year.

It meant that there were some 500,000 e-commerce orders per day in Viet Nam. The figure is expected to surge when the retail sales from e-commerce surpass $10 billion by 2020.

Hai said the ministry had received a huge number of applications in 2017 relating to e-commerce, increasing the demand of the industry as a whole. In recent years, the sector has become a fierce competing market with the participation of major names such as Lazada, Tiki and Shopee. This, however, did not come as a surprise as the sector had seen a robust growth rate in the past three years.

Last year, the ministry received some 9,670 applications announcing new commercial websites and 625 applications registering to provide e-commerce services. It also received and resolved 1,800 complaints related to violations in the sector.

“E-commerce development will require well-organised infrastructure,” said Le Duc Anh, director of VECITA’s Centre for Informatics and Digital Technologies, adding that infrastructure includes payment, delivery and information verification.

Sharing the ideas, Pham Trung Kien, deputy general director of Viettel Telecom, said online shopping had become popular in Viet Nam. However, many people were still unfamiliar with the use of mobile apps, while many areas did not have access to internet.

“This is the reason why buyers and sellers are unable to continuously communicate with each other. This has made the trust issue, which is key for successful e-commerce, harder to resolve. In the long term, this will require a solution to ensure trust between buyers and sellers as well as help customers to regularly check their order status,” Kien said.

To resolve the issue, VECITA has launched SMS Order with the support of large telecom providers in Viet Nam. SMS Order is an SMS-sending function used in all e-commerce websites and transaction floors.

Using SMS Order, buyers can verify and check their orders through SMS.

The solution includes three SMS packages depending on the demand of each e-commerce company. It will ensure verification as well as improve the prestige and transaction rate for e-commerce orders.

Businesses can save up to 60 per cent of the costs by using SMS Order compared to traditional SMS packages.

Ki?n committed to maintaining cheap fee to support businesses in the highly potential e-commerce sector.

Every order needs three SMSes on an average, detailing order confirmation, order delivery and announcement of successful delivery.

It is estimated that Viet Nam needs 450 million SMSes per year for customer care services, excluding advertisement.

With the yearly average growth rate of 20-30 per cent of the e-commerce market, the demand for using SMS to connect with customers will increase with time.

The demand for using SMS for public services will also increase as there are over 60,000 public procedures implemented per day nationwide. Public services are expected to need more than 200 million SMSes per year.

VECITA said it could turn the SMS Order solution into a large data system to provide market evaluation and statistics, thus resolving the trust issue.

Viettel Telecom, Vinaphone, Mobifone and VMG Group have come forward to be VECITA’s partners to implement the SMS Order. They plan to launch the programme in all localities and firms across Viet Nam this year.

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