DIGITAL 2021 : Viet Nam

28 Jun, 2021

The Vietnam Digital Report in 2021 provides us with helpful information about the digital transformation in reality. Check out the article below for a quick summary of the digital report and read our analysis of the latest digital trends.

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The Vietnam Digital Report in 2021 published by WeAreSocial provides us with helpful information about the trends of internet users, active social media users, mobile devices, and e-commerce development in Vietnam. However, under the strong influence of the pandemic in the past year, the trends have changed more strongly and clearly than ever before. Let's see in detail how digital changes affect Vietnamese people's lives and challenges and opportunities for businesses in the coming time.

Global Overview


As of Jan 2021, the world population reached 7.83 billion people, with an urban population rate of 56.4%. The total population of the world growth rate is 1%, with an increase of 81 million people compared to January 2020. In 2021, there were 5.22 billion mobile users, accounting for 66.6% of the total world population, equivalent to a growth rate of 1.8% (an increase of 93 million mobile users) compared to Jan in 2020.


The global internet users in 2021 reached 4.66 billion people, accounting for nearly 60% of the world's population, an increase of about 7.3%, with 361 million people compared to January 2020. Besides, social media users increased by 490 million people, with a growth rate of 13% to reach 4.2 billion users compared to January 2020.

Vietnam Overview


The total population in Vietnam reached 97.75 million in January 2021. With an increase of 852 thousand people (+ 0.9%) from January 2020 to January 2021. 37.7% of the Vietnamese population live in urban areas, while 62.3% live in rural areas.

In 2021, there were about 68.72 million Vietnamese people online (accounting for 70.3% of the population) through different platforms and applications, with an increase of 551 thousand people (+0.8%) compared to Jan 2020. It is noticeable that up to 67% of the population are active social network users (72 million people).


97% of Vietnamese internet users access the internet via any mobile device, 96.9% via smartphones, 66.1% by laptops or desktops, and 31.9% by tablets. This number highlights the importance of digital advertising, which can significantly affect the successful marketing strategy of businesses.


On average, Vietnamese internet users aged 16 to 64 spend 6 hours and 47 minutes using the internet daily. Including 2 hours 40 minutes for watching television, 2 hours and 21 minutes using social media, 1 hour 57 minutes reading press media, 1 hour 09 minutes listening to music, 41 minutes listening to broadcast radio, 44 minutes listening to the podcast, and 1 hour 14 minutes playing video games on a game console. In other words, Vietnamese internet users spend nearly 7 hours online daily on any device, which also means they spend 48 hours or two days online per week.

Internet Use


There were 68.72 million Internet users in Vietnam in January 2021, accounting for 70.3% of the total population in Vietnam. The internet users increased by 551 thousand people (+ 0.8%) compared to Jan 2020. With the development of technology and more low-end smartphones, 94.7% of internet users access browsers via mobile devices. And people seem to spend their time online more than before, with 6 hours and 47 minutes using the internet, while in 2020, time spent for internet usage of Vietnamese people was 6 hours and 30 minutes. 

Next, you can see at here Summary of Vietnam Digital Advertising 2018-2022 gathered by Market Report IO


The share of web traffic by devices in slide 28 gives us detailed information about how mobile development can promote Vietnamese spending time online more than before. In detail, 40.1% of Vietnamese people access the browsers via mobile devices, 58% via laptops & desktops, and only 1.9% via tablets. In other words, the strong growth of mobile technology or low-end smartphones promoted the rate of internet access via mobile devices to increase by 147% in December 2020 compared to December 2019. At the same time, web traffic from laptops decreased 30% compared to the same period in December 2019. The most commonly used browser is Chrome, accounting for 64%, and Safari accounting for 14.5%.


Almost all internet users use search engines (98.8%), more than 44% use voice search, more than 62% use social networks to find brand information, more than 45% use image recognition tools in the last one month.

Social Media Use


There are 72 million active social media users, with an increase of around 11%, accounting for 71.14% of the total population. 

On average, most internet users in Vietnam spend 99.8% of their time online to use social media or messaging, with 2 hours 21 minutes of social media use daily. 55.9% of internet users use social media for work purposes. The report also reveals that, on average, one internet user has 9.9 social media accounts. Youtube, Facebook, and Zalo are the three most used social networking applications in Vietnam.


The most-used social media applications with the first ranked belong to Youtube with 92% of users in the past month, followed by Facebook with 91.7% of users, outstanding applications include Zalo, FB Messenger, Instagram, Tiktok, Twitter, Skype, Pinterest, Linkedin, Viber, Whatsapp, Wechat, Line, Twitch and Snapchat. 

It can be seen that message and communication apps still get the main interest of users in Vietnam. It is also reflected in more than 50% of internet users use the internet for work purposes. Especially in the period of social distancing, the concept of working from home makes apps that support remote communication get more exploration than ever before.


Go above Facebook to gain the outstanding application that attracts the most users in Vietnam, advertising on Youtube can reach up to 55.7 million users per month. Equivalent to 61.6% of the population over 18 years old. The report also shows the most popular user-searched topics in 2020, including movies, music, TikTok, games, and more.

Mobile Use


There were 154.4 million mobile connections in Vietnam as of January 2021, accounting for  157.9% of the total population. The number of mobile connections in Vietnam in Jan 2021 increased by 1.3 million, with an increase of 0.9% compared to January 2020.


Apps that take up the most time spent by mobile users include chat apps and social networking apps with a share of nearly 95%, entertainment and video apps 83.4%, and music apps 58%, game apps  57.2%, shopping 68.5%, map apps 72.4%. 

Ecommerce Use

It can say that 2020 is a year with strong growth of e-commerce platforms. The epidemic's impact and social distancing make consumers change their shopping behaviors and switch to buying online more than before. In Vietnam, 78.7% of internet users aged 16 to 64 admitted making online purchases every month. 61.4% of internet users make online purchases through mobile devices.


More than 30% of the total population over 15 years old have accounts with financial institutions, 4.1% of people have credit cards, more than 20% have online purchases or payments, and women spend more on online shopping than men. Men have more credit cards than women.


More than 85% of internet users from 16 to 24 years old searching online for products and services to buy, 77% visit an online store, more than 68% use an app to shop online, more than 78% online shopping. 


The spending in the e-commerce categories in 2020 by industry is as follows (in US Dollar): Tourism, transportation, and accommodation is more than 3.1 billion, fashion and beauty category are 1.44 billion, electronics and communication equipment is 1.57 billion, food and personal care are more than 1.02 billion, equipment furniture and home appliances is 1.09 billion. The tourism industry is decreasing significantly due to the impact of the pandemic, so the demand for travel and movement is limited.


Over 9 million internet users use apps to use food delivery services with a value of more than $302 million, with a growth of nearly 46% and an average spend value of $32 per person per year. The report also shows that the Food and Personal Care sector is the strongest growing category in 2020, with revenue recorded exceeding 1.02 billion, an increase of more than 45% compared to 2020.

Digital Marketing


WeAreSocial's Digital Report 2021 also brings a lot of helpful information about the Digital Marketing segment. The primary channels for brand search are social networks which accounted for 62.6%, search engines ranked second with 56.6%, followed by consumer reviews 40%, mobile apps 34.5%, product and brand websites accounted for 33.6%, product and brand blogs 23.9%, Q&A (ex. Quora) 23.1%, video sites 22.9%, and discount voucher websites 22.3%.

It can say that combining multiple content solutions to bring the best experience to customers is considered the top trend for 2021. The use of video is likely to be the primary content type for content marketing strategies.


Total online advertising spending in 2020 is $290 million (growth rate of 9.2%), including more than $115 million spent on digital search ads (growth rate of 14.3%). There's more than $58 million spent on social networks (growth rate of 9.1%), over $45 million on banner ads (growth rate of 7.8%), $34 million on online video ads (growth rate of 9%), and display ads nearly $36 million (decrease of 3.2%).

 Next, you can see Summary of Vietnam Digital Advertising 2018-2022 gathered by Market Report IO.


Through the Vietnam Digital Report 2021, business owners and marketers can create more effective marketing strategies. The strong development of e-commerce and online payment brings more opportunities for businesses and challenges than ever before. In case your business needs digital marketing consulting services, we are here to help!

Don't hesitate to contact us if you need more helpful information about Digital Vietnam 2019. We will update the latest information in the following articles. See detailed Digital 2019: Vietnam at the link above.