Vietnamese say technology is taking over lives, but unworried: survey

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The Việt Nam tech consumer graphic report. – Photo Courtesy Vero Vietnam

HCM CITY — Technology is taking over people’s lives but most do not seem to mind it, according to the 2020 Việt Nam Tech Consumer Report.

Done by research firm InsightAsia and public relations and digital marketing agency Vero, it surveyed tech consumers in Hà Nội and HCM City.

It found there was a largely positive sentiment towards the tech sector and high expectations among Vietnamese for technology companies to improve many aspects of their life.

It was also done in Thailand and Myanmar, and, overall, 65 per cent of respondents said technology has an overall positive impact on their lives compared to just 6 per cent who said its impact was negative.

It includes helping them perform better at work (84 per cent) and positively changing their relationships with others (66 per cent).

A notable finding is that, of the three countries, Vietnamese are the most likely to say that technology is taking over their lives (66 per cent) compared to 39 per cent in Thailand and 52 per cent in Myanmar.

Vietnamese respondents had many positive associations with tech, including improved work performance, better relationships with others, relaxation, and stress relief, all of which were named by over 60 per cent of respondents.

But respondents also said there are downsides, with half of them pointing to lost sleep.

Other negatives were not about technology per se, but rather the apparent results of social media fatigue, as significant minorities (33-39 per cent) reported experiencing more conflict due to social media, feeling they are forced to use it and losing control of their lives, and a desire to take a break and disconnect.

These rates were also higher than in Thailand and Myanmar, suggesting that Việt Nam’s social media uptrend could face a backlash.

As in Thailand and Myanmar, Vietnamese consumers put a premium on genuine tech products from reliable suppliers when deciding what to buy. Their preference for popular brands, at 80 per cent, was stronger than in the other countries, and they revealed an unusual fondness for easy refund and return policies, with 87 per cent listing it as a decisive factor.

But instalment payments and financing plans, were a significantly smaller factor in Việt Nam, possibly due to the legal requirements for retailers to offer these for high-value tech items, making them an expectation rather than a selling point.

Similar attitudes prevailed in relation to tech services like apps and websites as free trials, widespread use, and ease of use and payment were the most popular decision factors.

These findings suggest that reputed tech companies will be wise to emphasise their trustworthiness in contrast to the fakes, knockoffs and mislabelled items that could make shopping for tech a risky proposition in Việt Nam.

In terms of communications efforts by tech companies, Vietnamese consumers appreciated news about discounts and new products and services more than in the other countries. They also expressed a strong preference for “inspirational stories” over all other types, nearly double the second-placed preference for “educational stories.”

TV is the most common source through which Vietnamese become aware of tech products since the survey categorised online video services such as Youtube under TV.

In fact, the balance seemed to lean towards Youtube, with a majority of consumers saying they compare tech products online more than half the time. — VNS

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