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Do Vietnamese businesses really need to create a website?

In Vietnam, the top concern of most businesses is the number of their sales results. They invest a lot in marketing (advertising and PR) and do not always place a high value on building a solid brand image (corporate communication and customer service actions to retain customers).

There are still businesses operating quite well even though they do not have a website. This is why we ask the question, do Vietnamese companies need a website?

Reasons why Vietnamese businesses are avoiding branding

Vietnamese business owners are not convinced they need to spend the money on branding with a high-quality, tailor-made website:

  • Website development needs a team of knowledgeable and experienced professionals. It can be said that finding a website design team has never been easy for Vietnamese businesses.
  • The steps to start a website take a lot of time, effort and cost (not to mention the long-term maintenance). For example: domain name registration, server rental, website design, programming, testing, posting information, introducing the website on social media channels, promoting widely to the community…

  • Update the website address of the business on business cards, brochures, newspapers, e-commerce pages… will also create a lot of small but complicated steps, which must be strictly controlled.
  • Internal training is a challenging issue because it requires closeness and coordination between departments in the enterprise. In particular, the Customer Care team acts as a bridge with customers, ensuring a clear understanding of how to answer questions from customers visiting the website.
  • Finally, in order for the website to operate without errors or other problems, it requires businesses to actively check for errors, detect “bugs” in time and take necessary actions.

A lot of this is perhaps mainly due to the lack of understanding of these somewhat complex or in obscure jobs. But also, businesses do not see their customers as using the website to make a purchasing decision. Notwithstanding, is that really the case?

Here are five key myths or concerns for website creation in Vietnam

  1. Only large e-commerce enterprises such as Shopee, Tiki, Lazada, Sendo really want to invest in websites to do business.
  2. Today, very few users use websites to find information and interact with businesses. However, they will perceive the quality and reputation of the business within 0.05 seconds.
  3. Internet users will not recommend a business website that is poorly designed, or difficult to view on mobile devices. Accordingly, the website affects the reputation of the business.
  4. Products of the business will be presented more visually, beautifully and impressively than the small photos posted on social networks. 
  5. Every business should focus on turning inefficient websites into websites that really enhance their reputation and attract customers.

In the end, for many businesses in Vietnam, it makes more sense to not build any website than to take what is considered unnecessary risks. 

Nevertheless, what if there were other arguments that could help Vietnam businesses move forward with web communication?

Opportunity costs

In Vietnam, it may be true that many sales are done through word of mouth or social media. Customers place value on what their peers think or recommend.

Even so, in our ever-changing international world, the web offers a platform for all users to compare and make informed decisions on their own. Maybe it is early, nonetheless, it is coming to Vietnam, and even if social media and word of mouth will still be highly valued, consumers will most likely visit the corporate website for gathering last second information. Thus if you do not have a website, you may be truly losing out on the opportunity to make an impact. It can be considered a lost sale should the consumer not find what they are looking for.

So, websites in Vietnam may not be considered as necessary to win over customers, on the contrary can be seen as necessary to not lose potential customers.

In Conclusion

It does take time and money to invest in corporate communication on the web. Still, the good news is that you can go at your own pace. It’s most likely better to do something small and meaningful than to do nothing at all, then grow from there. Regardless of the current cultural behaviors, the web will sooner or later play a major role in corporate development and customer attraction and retention.