We recently caught up with Erik Jonssen the CEO and Co-founder of TOP MOT Vietnam’s first flash sales website. In our conversation, Erik reveals what the key challenges are around the future of the Vietnamese e-commerce market and why the topic is mobile commerce is close to his heart.
Could you share something about yourself with our readers?
I am the CEO and Co-founder of TOP MOT, Vietnam’s first flash sales website. Before launching TOP MOT I was deputy CEO of Adayroi and the CEO and Co-founder of ZALORA Vietnam. I was born and raised in the south of Sweden and had the opportunity to attend an international high school, which spurred me to pursue university studies in London. I did a very narrow finance degree in London called Investment & Financial Risk Management as all I wanted to do at the time was to be an investment banker. I met my wife Trang at university, who’s from Vietnam, and after 8 years in London where both of us were working within investment banking she pulled me with her back to Ho Chi Minh City. I’ve been here for 6 years and couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. I am getting closer and closer to fluency in Vietnamese and being able to speak and converse with locals makes life here amazing. I am currently quite into studying Vietnamese idioms, my current favorite being “Biết mình biết ta, trăm trận trăm thắng” which translates to “If you know yourself and others, in a hundred battles you’ll face a hundred wins”.
Could you give our readers a quick teaser on what you will be speaking at the show?
I will give insights on the prominent role of mobile devises to online browsing and purchase behavior in Vietnam.
Why is this topic close to your heart?
As with anything in Vietnam, the share of mobile devices used for the devouring of online content and social media is growing at a tremendous pace. There are more mobile devices than actual people in Vietnam and smartphone penetration is already north of 25%. The mobile infrastructure in Vietnam is quite good relative to SEA’n peers and mobile data is cheap. The majority of all traffic to TOP MOT has been coming from mobile devices since they day we launched and I am expecting mobile commerce to dominate the online industry in the next few years.
What do you think the key challenges are around the future of the Vietnamese e-commerce market?
Keep building trust for online shopping. I try to ask as many people as possible when I am out and about to learn about their online shopping experience. Most of them have tried shopping online, but far from them had a great experience. It usually relates to not receiving a product that is flawed (not the same as on the picture, dirty, wrong size, etc) and not being able to return it. Citing the diffusion of innovation theory, we have not yet hit early majority for online shopping in Vietnam and to do so we need to keep offering great pre- and post-purchase service to ensure customers feel comfortable shopping online.
Why are you excited to attend the show?
One of five guiding quotes we have on the TOP MOT office wall is from Voltaire, and goes: “Doubt is not a pleasant mental state, but certainty is a ridiculous one.” The Vietnamese e-commerce scene is quickly changing and regardless of past experiences one can always learn more. I am involved in my third e-commerce venture since coming to Vietnam and yet I try to stay hungry and open to learn new things from all my talented peers in the industry. I believe sharing is caring, and I am also always open to share my experiences with others as I think all players in our ecosystem should help each other for the benefit of the industry. I am thus very excited to attend Seamless Vietnam as I am hoping to share experiences with both new and old faces.