Digital transformation unavoidable, expands business reach
Digital transformation is both a need and an inevitable trend that will help businesses survive and develop in the Industry 4.0 era, experts said.
This also holds true for the post COVID-19 new normal period, according to the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI).
Tran Ngoc Liem, Deputy Director of VCCI’s HCM City Branch, said: “In a competition to retain and expand the market, those businesses that go for digital transformation quickly will be able to capitalise on development opportunities and reap more success than those following traditional production and trading methods.”
Liem said that in Vietnam, digital transformation was taking place in almost every type of business at different levels.
A recent VCCI survey on developments in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic found that a majority of more than 400 businesses polled had great expectations from digital transformation.
Up to 98 percent of the respondents expect digital transformation to create great changes in their production and trading activities; 71 percent and 61.4 percent, respectively, expect it to help reduce production costs as well as paper work; and 45.3 percent expect it to help add value to products and improve product and service quality.
But the reality is that there is a big gap in digital transformation at large enterprises and small and medium enterprises (SMEs), Liem said at a seminar held by the VCCI and Mediastep Software Vietnam Co., Ltd in Ho Chi Minh City last week.
Large-scale enterprises have quickly embraced digital transformation and believe in its positive results, while SMEs, which account for nearly 98 percent of total Vietnamese businesses, have faced difficulties in making the far-reaching change.
According to experts, in the context of the current pandemic, digital applications and tools play an important role in supporting and promoting the transformation process, promoting sales and helping them develop more sustainably.
Tom Peng, CEO of Mediastep Software Vietnam, said more and more global buyers were using online platforms to source products instead of making on-site visits, so local businesses must transform and join e-commerce platforms to approach customers around the world and expand opportunities to access the global market.
Nguyen Thanh Lam, GOEXPORT business director, said according to data from Alibaba.com, during the pandemic period, the number of customers buying products on the platform increased by 100 percent, the number of orders jumped by over 170 percent, and the total transaction value rose by 125 percent.
But the supply of products on the platform increased by only 5 percent, offering opportunities for suppliers, he said.
The B2B e-commerce platform Alibaba.com is supporting Vietnamese firms in acquiring knowledge and skills to conduct international trade activities, he added.
Vietnam has gained a strong reputation among global buyers for its manufacturing capabilities, high quality products and competitive prices.
In addition to promoting export via e-commerce platforms, local businesses should not forget the lucrative home market of 97 million consumers with high internet usage and rising income, speakers said at the seminar.
Nguyen Thi My Xuan, business director of Gosell, suggested that local businesses adopt omni-channel retailing strategies to adjust to consumer behaviour changes in the new normal period.
Xuan also said promotional policies must be implemented synchronously across sales channels in order to attract and increase the rate of brand recognition and loyalty among customers.