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Online shopping 101: A quick guide to buying on the internet

Online shopping has become more than just a trend for consumers in Vietnam and many other countries. You can easily buy what you like in just a few clicks. However, is online shopping truly safe? And where you should buy online? Find out about all that and more in this guide to online shopping.

What is online shopping

Online shopping is when you shop for things on a digital store using the internet connection on your mobile phone/laptop. Instead of physically going to the store, you place an order through your device, using digital modes of payment, and a seller will ship the goods to your address. Whether it is buying movie tickets, ordering groceries or even booking a car – everything can be bought online. 

In Vietnam, there are thousands of websites providing a full range of products that serve all of your needs. So you can have your goods delivered to you quickly and conveniently, from the comfort of your home.

Why is it better to buy online

Compare prices easily

You'll need to spend hours at shopping malls to check and compare the price of an item at different stores. But when it comes to online shopping, you can check the price from multiple merchants all at once on your device. Moreover, promotion and warranty policies for products are also more transparent when you buy online.

Check buyers' reviews

A big plus of online shopping is that you get to see feedback from people who have previously purchased a product. For example, you want to buy a TV, but it appears that the item isn't as good as other buyers expected. This helps you make more informed decisions with your budget and save a lot of hassle related to the purchase. 

Save more money

Thanks to the online platform, many sellers could cut down their costs such as rent and staff. As a result, products you buy online will often have a better price than when buying at physical stores.

Pay conveniently

Physical stores usually accept cash as a mode of payment, which could be quite inconvenient for you. You also run the risk of losing it or having your money stolen.

Fortunately, online shopping lets you choose between several payment methods. In addition to paying with cash on delivery (COD), you can also use bank cards, e-wallets, gift cards and more.

Where can you shop online


Many large and small businesses have their own websites to promote and sell products directly to customers. You can safely order your merchandise at a better price and enjoy the same after-sales service as when buying at a physical store.

Latest offers for HSBC Credit Cardholders when shopping online at the following websites:

  • Eva Air
    5% discount based on normal internet fare on routes Hanoi/ Ho Chi Minh to Taipei/ American/ Canada in website
  • LG
    Discount up to 40%
  • Bamboo Airways

    01 Gold/Emerald Bamboo Club account

    200 bonus points to Bamboo Club account

    01 promo code for 10-15% discount for all domestic ticket classes when flying with Bamboo Airways.

  • Bao Viet Insurance
    Cashback of 10% on total bill when customers purchase online insurance

Find out more about offer details before shopping.

E-commerce site

In addition to the brands' websites, there are some famous e-commerce sites with a variety of products, prices and promotions that you can shop online:

Shopee: Eye-catching with an easy-to-use interface, Shopee offers a slew of products from technology, fashion, pets, beauty and health.

Tiki: The Vietnam e-commerce platform established in 2010 is still very popular since users can buy a lot of genuine products provided by Tiki itself.

Lazada: With a wide network of partners, you can buy at Lazmall stores on Lazada - a branch of genuine stores of many big brands worldwide.

If you have paid for the product but didn't receive the item or it didn't match the description, you have the right to complain and return the goods that were bought on the e-commerce sites.

These sites also often offer promotion schemes as well as rewards from their partners to allow customers purchase at an affordable price. For example, when shopping online on our partners with an HSBC credit card, you can enjoy:

  • Shopee
    Discount of VND 350,000 on bills from VND 3,000,000 on special days. Discount of VND 50,000 on bills from VND 500,000 daily
  • Tiki
    Discount of VND 100,000 on bills from VND 1,000,000. Discount of VND 500,000 for TikiPro on bills from VND 10,000,000 and above
  • Lazada
    Discount of VND 350,000 on bills from VND 3,000,000 and above daily. Discount of VND 350,000 on bills from VND 3,000,000 and above on special days
  • Sendo
    Discount of VND 30,000 on bills from VND 100,000 daily. Discount of VND 150,000 on bills from VND 1,000,000 on special days

Find out more about offer details before shopping.

Are you an online shopaholic?

Apply for an HSBC credit card online to receive cash back offer worth up to VND 1.8 million today!

Already an HSBC credit cardholder? Discover latest credit card articles here.

Social media platforms

Shopping on social networking sites like Facebook and Instagram is also a quicker way to buy your favourite items. You can send contact your seller directly about their products and place orders.

Be careful though, there can misleading ads and scams on social networking sites too. Make sure you discern online sellers' identity and check for their authenticity.

Ways to make payments online

Online payment methods will help you mask your sensitive payment information, or put your transactions on hold in case of a dispute opening between a buyer and a seller. Some of the payment methods you can use to shop online are:

Bank cards

A debit or credit card helps you optimise your online shopping costs with benefits like cashback, reward points, and brand discounts.


Cash On Delivery (COD) can be understood as a form of receiving goods and then paying in cash. This can help you evaluate the product received, such as the packaging or appearance of the product, before making a payment decision. However, this payment service is quite limited in terms of incentives for shoppers.


An e-wallet is an intermediary account that connects your bank account and the shopping website. Some common e-wallets commonly used are Momo, Airpays and more.

In addition to making it easy to pay, transfer and receive money, e-wallets secure your personal information as well as your bank account. The wallet also has many special incentives for customers when paying for orders.

E-commerce coins

Coins are a virtual currency on e-commerce platforms. These can give you a discount or completely pay for your items. You can collect coins by applying a cashback code at checkout, participating in games on the e-commerce app, or it being simply a certain conversion rate based on the total value of your order.

Gift card

Gift cards come in two main types: physical vouchers and digital codes. Each gift card, however, will have specific conditions on applicable brands and items.

You can use a gift card to pay for your purchases. If your gift card can't cover the merchandise's total cost, you need to pay the remaining balance using methods mentioned above. Note that gift cards can't be exchanged for cash even if you don't intend to use them.

How you can shop online

Shopping online isn't complicated. A device with an internet connection is all you need to be able to buy online. The process to find an item you like is straightforward:

Step 1 - Select a website to shop: You can shop on e-commerce sites or go directly to the website of the brand you want to buy.

Step 2 - Search for products: On every website, there is a search bar (usually with a microscope icon) for you to type in the keyword of the product you want to buy. To preview the total cost of shopping, you can add all items to the cart.

Step 3 - Choose a payment method: Depending on your needs, you can choose a suitable payment method for you. If you want to pay with a credit card, you need to enter your card number and the OTP security code sent via text message to authenticate the transaction.

Start shopping online with HSBC credit card today!

How to protect yourself when shopping online

Online shopping has become a new habit of modern shoppers as its benefits bring so much convenience. However, you also need to know how to protect yourself against the risks of buying online. Here's a checklist that can be handy:

  • Install firewall and anti-virus software
    This is to protect your device from virus attacks if you unintentionally visit phishing websites.
  • Set a strong password
    Wifi account or any login accounts on apps and websites should have a strong password with some capitalised letters and special symbols to minimise any fraudulent attacks.
  • Never open emails or websites that you don't know
    Computer viruses can be in the form of files, weblinks, or applications. Clicking on unknown directories means you open a path for cybercriminals to take control of your device.
  • Keep track of your expenses
    Making payments by a bank card will allow you to monitor your balance fluctuations in real time via Online Banking and Mobile Banking. In addition, you can also set a transaction limit to secure your bank account better.
  • Make purchases online with a credit card

    You will be covered by credit card purchase protection if you become a victim of a scam. You can now feel safe when shopping online using a HSBC credit card with insurance benefits up to 4.6 million VND per claim per annum respectively for any of the following instances:

    - Non-delivery of purchased item after 30 days of scheduled delivery

    - Wrong or incomplete delivery of purchased item

    - Physical damage to the delivered item


    Moreover, with the MasterCard SecureCode,Verified by Visa and 3D Secure features on your credit card, you have an extra layer of security every time you make a transaction online.

HSBC Visa Platinum Credit Card: Unlimited cashback on online spends

When shopping online with HSBC Visa Platinum Credit Card, you can enjoy the following incentives and benefits:

  • Up to 8% cashback for spends at preferred online merchants: Tiki, Lazada, Shopee, Grab, Sendo, Baemin (capped VND 200,000/ month)
  • Unlimited 1% cashback on all other domestic online spends
  • Up to VND 4.6 million protection of your online purchases with eCommerce Purchase Protection Insurance

You can also enjoy other discounts and promotions when using this card for online spends!

Not yet an HSBC credit cardholder?

Apply quickly so you don't miss HSBC's cashback offer worth up to VND 1.8 million!

In addition, when you apply for an HSBC Credit Card via HSBC's partners, you will receive more attractive gifts!

Online shopping will continue to be more popular due to the diversity of products as well as the wide range of payment methods it offers customers. If you are new to online shopping, it is essential to equip yourself with necessary knowledge when making online transactions. Making purchases online with a credit card is one of the safest means of payment, putting your mind at ease about the risks of fraud as well as giving you a variety of incentives and shopping benefits.


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