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Small Vietnamese firms yet to tap Internet sales

Publication Date : 09-05-2012


Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) should use social media sites to advertise products and trademarks, according to a recent conference of information and technology journalists on the role of the Internet in Viet Nam's economy.

A VinaLink representative presented the results of the company's 2011 survey, which found that only 5 per cent of Vietnamese enterprises have a marketing presence on the Internet.

Around 30 per cent of Vietnamese people use the Internet and there is great potential for e-commerce in the country, but SMEs have not yet taken full advantage of online business opportunities.

Hoang Thuy Linh, a marketing director at the social networking platform Vietnamese Zing Me, said the three-year-old website now had 7.4 million users and attracts an average 1 million purchases a month—mostly of fashion, technology and handmade products.

Dang Quoc Cuong, CEO of Eleven Communications, said social media was a perfect marketing channel for enterprises because it allowed them to be in dialogue with customers and to build a community around their products.

In addition, social networking provides marketing services such as the ability to research product development, media and advertising, and customer satisfaction.

The "self-propagation" of social media would help enterprises publicise their products more quickly and it would also ruin businesses more quickly, if the quality of the product did not match its promise, Cuong said.

The difficult part, he added, would be for SMEs to acquire the strategies, tools, personnel and funding needed to use social media for business activities.

Social netorking is cheaper than traditional communication channels, but businesses also need to target their clientele online to create investment and advertising policies that would reap the highest benefits, he said.


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