Singapore-based startup ShopBack gears up for Vietnamese market

Southeast Asia’s leader in e-commerce cashback programs is ready to tap Vietnam’s tech-savvy consumers.

Source: ShopBack.

Vietnam will be the eighth market in Asia-Pacific for ShopBack, the Singapore-based startup that offers cashback rewards, as it taps into the country’s fast-growing consumer market.

Founded in 2014, ShopBack currently operates in Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Taiwan, Australia, and Indonesia. ShopBack has raised USD 83 million, including a USD45 million investment round led by Rakuten and EV Growth back in April.

Speaking to KrASIA, ShopBack’s head of expansion Josephine Chow said Vietnam has huge opportunities in the digital space with marketplaces such as Shopee, Lazada, Tiki, and Sendo all experiencing tremendous growth in the past year. “Aside from online purchases, the recent surge in e-wallets has also resulted in a growing appetite for e-commerce and e-bookings in the market,” Chow said. “We are excited to be in the Vietnam market to be in the forefront of the mobile and digital space.”

Chow said ShopBack will likely go live in Vietnam within this month or by early November, and about 100 merchants have already signed on, gearing up for an official launch early next year. The country is already home to one of ShopBack’s three R&D centers in the Asia-Pacific, with 50 engineers working out of Ho Chi Minh City.

Chow did not mention specific details regarding the kind of competition that ShopBack will face in Vietnam, but noted that there are “immense opportunities” to partner with similar businesses because “Vietnam is still relatively young in the rewards space.”

While the country’s consumers may have been getting used to claiming rewards and vouchers from service providers, Chow believed they will be attracted to ShopBack’s offers as it stands out with a cashback program.

In Vietnam, besides traditional players such as banks and airlines offering cashback promotions, local sites that are similar to ShopBack are tichluy.vn, Putatu, and rungrinh.vn. Many of these sites have not gained much traction, meaning ShopBack, with much financial backing and a strong regional reputation, has a shot at becoming the market leader. To date, the company claims it has driven more than USD 60 million in cashback rewards to consumers in Southeast Asia.

ShopBack connects sellers and customers by offering a cash incentive for every online purchase on its platform, encouraging consumers to make purchases. In that process, the company generates marketing insights for merchant partners.

When asked about how Shopback will win over consumers in Vietnam, Chow said, “Test. Test. Test. And localize!”