Vietnam flag Vietnam: Buying and Selling

Advertising and marketing in Vietnam

Marketing opportunities

Consumer Profile
Vietnam is among the most dynamic, emerging economies of Southeast Asia. It has a young, large population: the under 35 currently represent 55.5% of the population (2019 Population Census Report).
Consumer expenditure has been growing steadily in Vietnam, thanks to rising incomes amid strengthening economic activity. Consumer expenditure’s growth had a faster pace compared with income rises, mainly due to the strengthening of consumer confidence in light of Vietnam’s bright economic outlook and low unemployment, stimulating confidence in consumers about their future earnings.
63.3% of the country’s population lives in rural areas (World Bank - 2019, latest data available), and their consumer expenditure accounts for about 58% of the country’s total (Hong Kong Trade Development Council, latest data available). But the average spending by urban residents is still higher than that of rural dwellers, as they account for only 36.6% of the population (World Bank - 2019, latest data available) but spend 42% of the country’s consumer expenditure (Hong Kong Trade Development Council, latest data available). Lately, consumption has been influenced by higher living costs as the cost of living is also growing rapidly, especially in urban areas.
Ho Chi Minh City is home to an ever-growing array of shopping malls and supermarkets, nevertheless, Vietnamese consumers still prefer traditional shopping outlets such as wet markets and mom-and-pop stores known as ‘tap hoa’. In fact, this type of shops provides a highly personalized shopping experience that allows residents of the surrounding neighbourhood to form friendships with the owners.
Younger generations are increasingly shopping in convenience stores and are keener to shop online, especially for clothing and home appliances. Shopping online is still in its early stages in Vietnam, with international giants like Amazon not available, but sites such as Lazada and Tiki are increasingly sophisticated and convenient.
Consumer Behaviour
The transformation of Vietnam over the last 10 years determined the rapidly changing consumer marketing environment.
Vietnamese consumers are now more confident about their future earnings given the country’s economic expansion, which is boosting incomes and consumer spending. As a result, they are increasingly purchasing fashionable and quality products to improve their living standards, although generally, their income levels are still not comparable with Western standards. Foreign brands and suppliers are increasingly distributing medium-priced and value-for-money products to tap this emerging demand.
Reputable brands not only appeal to consumers due to their design or function but also because they are often promoted as being of international quality. Office staff and younger professionals with higher salaries often look for branded products and are used to comparing local and imported items.
Spending on housing, food items and transportation accounts for almost 60% of consumer expenditure (Hong Kong Trade Development Council, latest data available). Consumers, therefore, have become prudent in their spending on other items and tend to look for value-for-money and reasonable quality in order to be able to afford fashionable items.
Online shopping or research on products is not yet widespread in Vietnam, but it has a high-growth potential as internet penetration is increasing.
Consumers Associations
VINASTAS (Vietnam Standards and Consumers Association)
Main Advertising Agencies
Mullen Lowe Vietnam
Daiko Vietnam
Dentsu Vietnam

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Latest Update: May 2024