TNS Panel 2008

Consumer's trend and preferences


  • National broadcaster: VTV
  • National radio: VOV
Television, Cable and Satellite
Almost 95% of Vietnamese households now have electricity connections compared to only 50% in the early 1990s. Vietnamese people like to watch television in their spare time. In rural areas, people usually visit each other after work to have dinner, talk and enjoy television programs. Therefore, when their finances allow, they are willing to buy a television for their family. In Vietnam, the number of households that have televisions has increased from 76% in 2000 to 86% in 2007. Moreover, in this seven year period, the percentage of households using black and white TV sets has dropped by 70.7% while the growth rate of those using colour TV sets is 67.7%. People still use black and white television sets but this number is very small (7% of households in 2007) and mainly located in remote areas.

The quality of television services has improved over time and the number of TV channels has increased rapidly in the last two years. People living in urban areas enjoy more than 50 TV channels through cable television services, compared to only local and national channels in previous years. In large cities, the household penetration rate of cable television has risen more then 26 times from 2000 to 2007. However, the number of households that have cable TV is still small at 0.5% of all households.


Most Vietnamese households want to have a television and in high-income families there is one television for each room. As a result of increasing incomes, Vietnamese households tend to replace old televisions with new ones. This is why many electronic companies have decided to extend their activities in this large market, and the resulting increase in competition has driven down the average price of televisions.

In general, the cable and satellite TV market has great potential in Vietnam. The demand for such services will increase. Currently, most television stations in the country improve their services and lower their price in order to be competitive and satisfy demand. There are several cable television stations in large cities, including SCTV, VTV and HTV. On the other hand, satellite television is used mainly by hotels, restaurants and by the wealthy because it is expensive. People value it because it provides a wider range of channels and services.

There were 61.8 million telephone subscribers in Vietnam as of June 2008, 9.9 million of which were new in the first six months of 2008. In the period time between 2000 and 2006, the growth rate of telephone lines in use was 636.8%, while the growth rate of national telephone calls was 297.4%. In large cities, most households had a telephone connected. This figure is expected to rise, particularly in rural areas.

The use of mobile phones has significantly increased because the prices of mobile phones have gone down and there have been more sales promotions from 2000 to 2006. The number of mobile telephone subscribers increased by 1,866.3%. Some people have switched from using landline telephones to mobile phones. For instance, most family members, especially people who are of a working age, have their own mobile phone and have therefore stopped using landlines. Landlines face rising competition.


Although mobile call prices have been reduced through competition between communication companies in recent years, the average price of mobile calls is still higher than landlines calls. Currently, in addition to mobile phones and landlines, people can connect with each other by using internet. It is easy and very cheap to make an international call via the internet. Accordingly, demand for internet access has increased and has lead to a reduction in the quantity of outgoing international calls. However, in general, it has not had a large influence on the mobile phone market in the short term. One of the reasons is that mobile phones not only better enable communication, but they also provide many other services and features such as games, photography and cameras.
Printed Media

The media plays an important role in Vietnamese society. The Vietnamese habitually read newspapers while dinking coffee every morning. Newspapers are still the most important kind of media in Vietnam. Technological development has caused the media to develop well in recent years. Types of media that are more popular include not only newspapers but also magazines and TV channels. Many kinds of magazines are now available on topics such as economic, entertainment, health, music and fashion in order to meet different the preferences of various groups of consumers.

Almost every province in Vietnam has at least one TV channel. Vietnamese people are used to watching television every night. Meanwhile, radio, which used to be popular, is now the least popular and is mainly relevant only in rural areas.


Due to developments in the internet, the number of people using online newspapers has increased dramatically. However, people who use this type of media mainly live and work in urban areas and may be clerical staff or students. Over time, it is believed that the trend will increase as the other classes of people turn to the internet across all areas of the country. That will cause a reduction in the demand for printed media such as newspapers and magazines. However, it will take a long time before people change their habit from reading printed newspapers to online ones.
Computers and Internet

Computers and the internet have become effective and essential tools for communication, education, business, entertainment and shopping in Vietnam. The household penetration of PCs and internet usage has risen considerably between 2000 to 2007. In 2007, the percentage of households with a PC was 13.8%, thirteen times higher than in 2000; the growth rate of PCs in this period was 1,284% while the growth rate of internet users was 9,220.55%.

Although the Internet is so useful in so many ways, Vietnamese people have not utilised it thoroughly. For instance, the number of students with computer skills and who know how to find information as well as learning materials remains small – many people know nothing about the worldwide network. People spend large amounts of time using the internet for entertainment, such as chatting, reading newspapers and playing online games.


Although usage is increasing, the number of internet users is still small. In 2007, this number was just over 18.6 million people out of a population of 85.4 million people. In big cities, it is easy to use the internet as there are numerous internet shops scattered along the streets.

However, in rural areas, in order to have an internet connection people must first buy a computer, which is expensive, particularly considering their income. Therefore, they are only able to access the internet through community-based post offices or internet shops. According to the Post and Telecommunication Corporation (VNPT), a programme has been established called “One million hours of accompany”, and 2,353 community-based post offices have provided free internet services twice a week. The programme is part of the public interest activity of VNPT for the youth and people. People in remote and mountainous areas can go to community-based post offices to freely access to the internet on several given days in the week. The market for the internet has great potential and will expand in the next few years.

Even if e-commerce is a concept that many people in developed countries have been familiar with for a long time, it is still new to the Vietnamese. Those who use e-commerce are mainly from export companies and their customers are foreigners who are interested in Vietnamese handicrafts. Suppliers can, via websites, introduce their products to their customers.

Vietnamese people do not often buy things via the internet. When they want to buy something, they prefer to go to a market, supermarket or shops along the streets in order to see the products with their eyes and sometimes sample them before buying. Therefore, the quantity of transactions via online is limited and it will take time for Vietnamese people to change their consumer behaviour.


E-commerce development is an indispensable trend along with the economic development. In Vietnam, the number of people using the internet to book airline tickets, hotels or movie tickets has increased significantly. However, currently, this form of business has not been popular for other goods due to traditional Vietnamese shopping habits. It has been used by a small group of people and they mainly buy products from foreign countries.