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Business

E-commerce unit Sendo woos Vietnam's smartphone users with new app

HO CHI MINH CITY -- Sendo, an online marketplace under the umbrella of Vietnamese information technology group  FPT, has launched its own mobile app to better connect with smartphone users. It aims to raise the ratio of mobile orders to 50% by next year.     

Sendo hopes to raise its ratio of mobile orders to 50% by next year.

     The software, released last Wednesday for handsets and tablets running iOS and Android, is "designed to maximize the e-shopping experience," Sendo CEO Tran Hai Linh said. Features include advanced search, direct buyer-seller communication and voice ordering. 

     The company's website, Sendo.vn, offers a wide variety of clothing, cosmetics and electronics. Established in 2012, it is one of the country's fastest-growing e-commerce businesses. But last year, only 5% of orders were made through mobile devices. 

     This year, Sendo aims to boost the ratio of mobile orders to 30%, before making another leap to 50% in 2016. 

     The number of smartphones in Vietnam this year is estimated at 30 million. 

     Meanwhile, Sendo aims to attract more small and midsize merchants to its online mall. Each month, the site draws around 8 million visitors and generates some 120,000 transactions.

     Sendo Chairman Nguyen Dac Viet Dung said transactions tripled in the first half of 2015, compared to the same period last year.

$4 billion sector

Overall, Vietnamese are doing more of their shopping online. The Ministry of Industry and Trade's E-Commerce and Information Technology Agency expects total e-commerce sales to hit $4 billion this year.

     Sendo last year was ranked second in terms of total transaction value, at 14.4%, according to the government's Vietnam E-commerce Report 2014. Germany-based Lazada was No. 1, at 36.1%.

     "Sendo aims for annual growth of 200% in the next three years," Viet Dung said. Last year, the company teamed with Japan-based partners such as SBI Holdings and Econtext Asia to help expand their operations in Vietnam.

(Nikkei)

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