As the country emerges from the pandemic and heads into an uncertain year, many behaviors observed during the pandemic subside, such as the bifurcation of spend, low level of loyalty, or the increase in use of digital services. Meanwhile, consumers continue to become more discerning and value-conscious as they adjust their spending. In Vietnam, optimism about future economic conditions is among the strongest in Asia, and most pronounced by generational lines, with around 70 percent of millennials reported to be optimistic.
However, spending patterns remain impacted by the dual effect of COVID-19 and economic uncertainties. Vietnamese consumers report the strongest decrease in intended spending in Asia, and show negative net intent to spend in most categories except the “basics” around food, fuel, and personal care. However, a granular look at the situation shows a bifurcation of spend rather than a straight decline. For example, 72 percent of Vietnamese consumers intend to splurge (the second highest score we observed after India), but at the same time, about a third of respondents plan to decrease spending in 2023. This apparent paradox indicates the emergence of more discerning consumers, ready to spend but also value-conscious when shopping.
These economic uncertainties seem to also have accelerated the loyalty shake-up first seen during COVID-19. Consumers continue to experiment more with new brands, new retail formats, and new behaviors—more so than in any Asian country surveyed. More consumers are opting for value alternatives (such as private labels).
Digital adoption has also increased, and social media has become an important channel for influencing purchase decisions. The acceleration of omnichannel behaviors overall is expected to sustain as COVID-19-related restrictions recede, even if across categories, the rate of people shopping online seems slightly behind other countries.
These exhibits are based on the COVID-19 Vietnam Consumer Pulse Survey data collected in Vietnam December 6–13, 2022. Check back for regular updates on consumer sentiments, behaviors, income, spending, and expectations.