Choosing Your Path: Ecommerce Store or Marketplace?

Vietnam E-commerce

In the vibrant landscape of Vietnam’s ecommerce industry, businesses are presented with a myriad of options to establish their online presence. From setting up standalone ecommerce stores to leveraging popular marketplaces, the choices can be overwhelming. In this guide, we’ll explore the dynamics of Vietnam’s ecommerce market and analyze the pros and cons of ecommerce stores versus marketplaces.

Understanding Vietnam’s Ecommerce Scene

Vietnam’s ecommerce sector has witnessed rapid growth in recent years, fueled by increasing internet penetration and a burgeoning middle class with rising disposable incomes. With platforms like Tiki, Shopee, and Lazada dominating the market, consumers are embracing online shopping like never before.

Ecommerce Stores: Building Your Digital Identity

Ecommerce stores provide businesses with the opportunity to craft a unique digital identity and establish a direct connection with customers. Whether it’s showcasing brand aesthetics or tailoring the user experience, ecommerce stores offer unparalleled flexibility and control. Here’s a closer look at the pros and cons:


  • Brand Control: Establish a distinct brand identity and control the narrative surrounding your products.
  • Customer Engagement: Foster direct relationships with customers and gather valuable insights into their preferences.
  • Customization: Tailor the user experience, product display, and promotions according to your brand’s vision.


  • Resource Intensive: Building and maintaining an ecommerce store requires significant investment in terms of time, money, and expertise.
  • Traffic Generation: Businesses are responsible for driving traffic to their websites through marketing efforts and SEO strategies.
  • Operational Responsibilities: Managing inventory, fulfillment, and customer service can be demanding and time-consuming.

Ecommerce Marketplaces: Tapping into Existing Audiences

Ecommerce marketplaces offer businesses access to a vast pool of potential customers and the infrastructure for seamless transactions. While they provide exposure and convenience, businesses must navigate through certain limitations. Here’s a breakdown of the pros and cons:


  • Exposure: Gain visibility among millions of active users browsing the marketplace for products.
  • Ease of Setup: Simplified onboarding process with minimal technical requirements, making it accessible to businesses of all sizes.
  • Infrastructure: Leverage the marketplace’s logistics and payment systems for streamlined operations.


  • Fee Structure: Businesses incur fees for listing products and transactional charges for each sale, impacting profit margins.
  • Limited Control: Marketplace sellers have limited control over branding, customer experience, and policies.
  • Competition: Competing with other sellers and the marketplace’s own promotions can pose challenges in standing out.

Choosing Your Path: Ecommerce Store or Marketplace?

The decision between setting up an ecommerce store or leveraging a marketplace depends on various factors such as brand identity, target audience, and resources. Here’s a brief guide:

  • Ecommerce Stores: Ideal for brands seeking complete control over their online presence, customer relationships, and brand image.
  • Ecommerce Marketplaces: Suited for businesses looking to tap into existing audiences, benefit from established infrastructure, and minimize setup costs.

Navigating Vietnam’s Ecommerce Ecosystem

As Vietnam’s ecommerce landscape continues to evolve, businesses must adapt and innovate to stay ahead of the curve. Whether you opt for an ecommerce store, a marketplace, or a combination of both, the key lies in understanding your audience, maximizing your strengths, and delivering exceptional value to customers.

In conclusion, the journey of establishing an online presence in Vietnam’s ecommerce market is an exciting one, filled with opportunities and challenges. By carefully weighing the pros and cons of ecommerce stores versus marketplaces, businesses can chart a course that aligns with their goals and aspirations in the dynamic world of digital commerce.

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