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Ride-hailing service market in Vietnam

Kirjoittanut: Suong Tran Thi Ha - tiimistä FLIP Solutions.

Esseen tyyppi: Yksilöessee / 2 esseepistettä.
Esseen arvioitu lukuaika on 4 minuuttia.

Introduction of ride-hailing services in Vietnam

Ride-hailing or ridesharing services are to help the passengers connect with the random drivers of the vehicles on the roads for hires through the ride-hailing mobile apps or website platforms.  This service has started in Vietnam since 2014 and Grab which is a company from Singapore has been being ‘a big man’, dominating the market of Vietnam, followed by Go-Viet from Indonesia and Viet Be from Vietnam. Baemin from Korea has just participated also to compete with these big ones in our over 90 millions population market.

Source: https://thuonghieucongluan.com.vn/cac-ong-lon-ve-ung-dung-goi-xe-cong-nghe-tai-viet-nam-lam-an-sao-a114821.html

There are many other competitors in the industry, like: Vato, Mai Linh, My Go, FastGo, however currently Grab has the most services: GrabCar, GrabTaxi and GrabBike for transportation, GrabExpress for delivery, and Grab Food for food delivery, etc.

Like other e-commerce applications, initially ride-hailing apps have to “splash money” to launch the promotions, promotional and marketing policies to attract the customers and dominate the market…Grab by that has spent a lot of money for marketing activities from the beginning, including social media advertisements.

It is hard to say amongst Grab, Go-Viet or Be, which company is the winners of the social media for ride-hailing service in Vietnam, but I think when looking at the coverage of the marketing activities and the continuous launching of the social media campaigns of Grab, I suppose Grab is the winning players comparing to the efforts of the others without really making the significant impression. FastGo for example has only over 104k followers on Facebook while Grab has nearly 7,2 million followers.    The comparison seems lame, but we can see that the ‘big shark’ like Grab can easily dominate and ‘eat’ well the ‘little fish’ like FastGo on the social media platforms. The investment of FastGo for SEO is also dripping and seems not to be enough that caused them not having enough data for SEO analysis.


Grab website analysis data- Source: similarweb.com

Go-Viet website analysis data- Source: similarweb.com

There is not any company which has high SEO rankings, but are not utilizing social media platforms in Vietnam because using social media platforms as a must to approach the customers there, especially when Facebook has approximately 68 million users in 2021, accounts for 68,2% of the entire Vietnam population. The social media advertisement also is not as expensive as offline advertisements like billboard, displays, other traditional ads like TV, radio there. Also, it is easier and more accurate to aim to the target customers for social media campaigns than traditional channels.

It is quite common in Vietnam that the brands have the astroturfing activities like putting money for increasing fake views, likes or hiring people for fake commenting on social media. I do not mention that all companies will need to do that, but fake likes, share, comments somehow will be the bait to engage more audiences. Making the great contents, splashing much money for 360 degree marketing channels or having very good marketing strategy seem not to be enough and seem to need the thrust of astroturfing activities.

The ride-hailing service market in Vietnam values 1,1 million dollars and the players are competing in many different tactics to win the market cake piece. The company that pours much money for marketing most likely will win more the market. Understanding the market and customer is a must, besides offering the competitive price and better customer service. If the price is low, but the customer service is bad, the loyal users may quit to choose better options. The engagement to brand also will be built based on attraction of the marketing messages, customer service and the brand commitment to the offered service. For sure, achieving those costs the companies much continuous investment of money and time. The community of ride-hailing service can include the vehicle drivers and the customers. The companies like Grab must do well the part of attracting both those targets, attracting the drivers for the long-term cooperation and engaging passengers for their loyalty. Hence, there is very clear correlation between the size of the company and of the community accordingly.

Currently, there is a Facebook community which has been created by Grab drivers, that other ride-hailing companies do not have. That means, Grab has been creating the whole ecosystems of partnership under it. I can see that that platform is used for sharing the experiences of Grab drivers to their community. There is another official Facebook page of Grab where brand and marketing messages are updated. However, I can see that it is hard for them to control the risks of bad comments on the brand and service. The way that Grab is doing seems not to be so professional. They are replying to the nice messages but avoiding feedbacking to the complaints from the drivers and customers. For example, there are some posts which received many comments from the community, and I feel like they just let those go into the oblivion. Surely it is impossible to satisfy all people in the community, but little disputes can create the big issues by time. Then maybe the money burning strategy through much marketing efforts may turn into a double- edged knife which caused opposite effect and can be risky for brand image.

However, there is one thing that Grab is doing quite well about the media crisis management. There has been happening frequently the media crisis for Grab when their drivers committed to the criminals, the accidents or even sexual harassment. Those caused a lot of difficulties for Grab to solve the crisis and appease the public. Usually Grab announced clearly to the public their thoughts and solutions. Specifically, about the sexual harassment, Grab showed their strong opinions against the crime, cut the partnership contract with the drivers and helped the customers as the victim.


The big man in ride-hailing service in Vietnam: https://thuonghieucongluan.com.vn/cac-ong-lon-ve-ung-dung-goi-xe-cong-nghe-tai-viet-nam-lam-an-sao-a114821.html

Ride-hailing app market: Veterans overwhelm, newbies struggle


Uber, Grab and the “sexual harassment” crisis


Facebook user in Vietnam: https://napoleoncat.com/stats/facebook-users-in-viet_nam/2020/03#:~:text=There%20were%2068%20220%20000,group%20(23%20000%20000).

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