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According to Chong Kwang Puay, managing partner and consumer markets lead of KPMG in Vietnam and Cambodia, online shopping is becoming habitual in developed economies. Vietnam is expected to see a surge in online shopping as a result of its elevated Internet penetration rate.

These findings are based on a KPMG report titled “The truth about online consumers” that was released in January based on a survey of 18,430 consumers in 51 countries.

The report revealed that 18 per cent of consumers in Vietnam and Cambodia purchased goods from an online retailer such as Amazon, Lazada and Nhommua. Another 10 per cent purchased from the website of a retail shop while only three per cent purchased directly from a manufacturer or brand’s website.

Consumers stated the top reason for shopping online is convenience, followed by the ability to compare prices or to find online promotions or better deals.

Overall, consumers tend to trust online information and reviews. When asked what they take into consideration when deciding on a purchase, 9.9 per cent of participants based their decision on online reviews, 9.8 per cent on brands and 0.2 per cent on promotional and complimentary benefits.

According to the report, recommendations from friends and family are the most important channel (11.5 per cent) when consumers are looking for information before making a purchase. Other significant information channels that companies should look at are social media (8.3 per cent), online shops (8.2 per cent) and online reviews (eight per cent).

Companies and brands are advised to boost online security and privacy protection. Most participants (26.5 per cent) considered personal data and information protection to be imperative, and 20.4 per cent considered food and product safety as the most important.

KPMG International commissioned Intuit Research to conduct this survey. The sample consisted of consumers aged 15 to 70 who had purchased something online in the past 12 months and were among the top 65 per cent income earners in their country.