The success of e-commerce startups: an empirical study in Vietnam




E-commerce, Startups, Entrepreneur, Success, Founder, E-service.


Objective of the study: Although many e-commerce startups have been established in recent years, there is a high rate of business failure in start-up community. In addition, e-commerce in Vietnam is still at a beginning stage with many potentials and risks. The research aims to find impact factors which lead to the success of e-commerce startups in Vietnam.

Methodology/approach: The qualitative method was applied to identify appropriate measurement scales. Then, the quantitative questionnaire survey was leveraged to test the research framework based on data from local e-commerce startups.

Originality/Relevance: This research focuses on evaluating the impact of founder factors, e-service factors, and external factors on the success of startups in Vietnam.

Main results: Research findings show that four factors have significant contribution to e-commerce startups’ success including risk-taking propensity, achievement orientation, reliability of e-service quality, and e-networking. Among the four, risk-taking propensity is the most contributed factor in e-commerce startups’ success.

Theoretical/methodological contributions: The study helps to test the measurement scales and contributes an empirical study regarding to the success of startups in a developing country like Vietnam.

Social/management contributions: Managerial implications for e-commerce incubators, entrepreneurs, and government are also recommended to improve the success rate of e-commerce startups in Vietnam.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biographies

Quoc Trung Pham, Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology (VNU-HCM)

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Pham Quoc Trung is a Head of Simulation Lab. of the School of Industrial Management. He is a former Vice Dean of School of Industrial Management of Hochiminh City (HCMC) University of Technology, Vietnam. He has been working in Department of Management Information System since April 2005. From 2001 till now, he was a visiting lecturer at several universities of Vietnam, such as: HCMC University of Foreign Language and Information Technology, HCMC National University, Lotus University, HCMC University of Economics... His current research focus includes information retrieval system, management information system, decision support system, knowledge management system, e-commerce, e-learning, innovation, etc. He has published and spoken on topics in information technology, MIS and knowledge management. He received his B.S. and M.S. in Information Technology from HCMC University of Natural Science, and his Economics from Kyoto University.

Dinh Khang Pham, Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology (VNU-HCM)

Master, Manager at Intel Products Vietnam. MBA, School of Industrial Management. Ho Chi Minh University of Technology (VNU-HCM) – Vietnam


Australian Embassy. (2019). Vietnam’s Innovation Ecosystem 2019. Retrieved from:

Blank, S. & Dorf, B. (2012). The Startup Owner's Manual: The Step-By-Step Guide for Building a Great Company. K & S Ranch Publisher. ISBN-10: 0984999302.

Bobbitt, L. M., & Dabholkar, P. A. (2001). Integrating attitudinal theories to understand and predict the use of technology-based self-service: the internet as an illustration. International Journal of Service Industry Management, 12 (5), 423–450.

Chakraborty, S. & Tyagi, P. (2020). E Commerce for Entrepreneurs: Launch your E-commerce startup with strong technology and digital marketing. BPB Publications. ISBN-10: ‎ 9389898404.

Chen, L., Haney, S., Pandzik, A., Spigarelli, J., & Jesseman, C. (2003). Small business internet commerce: a case study. Information Resources Management Journal, 16 (3), 17.

Choshin, M., & Ghaffari, A. (2017). An investigation of the impact of effective factors on the success of e-commerce in small- and medium-sized companies. Computers in Human Behavior, 66, 67–74.

Dessyana, A. & Riyanti, P.B.D. (2017). The Influence of Innovation and Entrepreneurial Self-Efficacy to Digital Startup Success. International Research Journal of Business Studies, 10 (1), 57-68.

Jones, S. & Tynan, M. (2021). 7 Entrepreneurial Leadership Workouts: A Guide to Developing Entrepreneurial Leadership in Teams. Anthem Press. ISBN:9781839981852.

Fisher, R., Maritz, A., & Lobo, A. (2014). Evaluating entrepreneurs’ perception of success: Development of a measurement scale. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, 20 (5), 478–492.

GEM. (2017). Vietnam Startup Index Report. Thanh Nien publisher. Retrieved from:

GEM. (2020). GEM 2020/2021 Global Report. Global Entrepreneurship Research Association. Retrieved from:

Groenewegen, G. & De Langen, F. (2012). Critical Success Factors of the Survival of Start-Ups with a Radical Innovation. Journal of Applied Economics and Business Research JAEBR, 2(3), 155–171. Retrieved from:

Hair, J. F., Black, W. C., Babin, B. J., & Anderson, R. E. (2014). Multivariate data analysis (7. Ed., Pearson new internet. Ed). Harlow: Pearson. ISBN-10: 0138132631.

Kerr, S.B, Kerr, W.R, & Xu, T. (2017). Personality Traits of Entrepreneurs: A Review of Recent Literature, Working paper of Harvard Business School. Retrieved from:

Kuratko, D. F., & Hodgetts, R. M. (2004). Entrepreneurship: Theory, Process, and Practice. Mason, OH: South-Western Publishers (6th Edition). ISBN-10: 0324258267.

Llewellyn, D. J., & Wilson, K. M. (2003). The controversial role of personality traits in entrepreneurial psychology. Education+ Training, 45 (6), 341–345.

Macko, A. & Tyszka, T. (2009). Entrepreneurship and Risk Taking. Applied Psychology: An International Review, 58 (3), 469–487.

Nguyen, P. C. (2010). Study international e-commerce models and lesson learnt for Vietnam. Ha Noi: FTU.

Pallant, J. (2005). SPSS survival manual: a step by step guide to data analysis using SPSS for Windows (Version 12). Crows Nest, NSW, Australia: Allen & Unwin. ISBN-10: 0335223664.

Pham, Q.T. (2017). A Knowledge Management Approach for Ensuring the Success of IT Industries in Vietnam. New York: Nova Science Publishers. ISBN: 9781536128734.

Pham, Q.T., Dang, N.M, & Nguyen, D. T. (2020). Factors Affecting on the Digital Piracy Behavior: An Empirical Study in Vietnam. Journal of Theoretical and Applied Electronic Commerce Research, 15 (2), 122-135.

Pham, Q.T., Tran, X.P., Misra, S., Maskeliūnas, R., & Damaševičius, R. (2018). Relationship between Convenience, Perceived Value, and Repurchase Intention in Online Shopping in Vietnam. Sustainability, 10, 156,

Quaddus, M., & Achjari, D. (2005). A model for electronic commerce success. Telecommunications Policy, 29 (2–3), 127–152.

Reynolds, P. D., Bygrave, W. D., Autio, E., Larry, W. C., & Hay, M. (2002). Global Entrepreneurship Monitor: 2002 Executive Report. Babson College, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, and London Business School. Retrieved from:

Ries, E. (2011). The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses. Crown Business. ISBN-10: ‎ 9780307887894

Santos, J. (2003). E-service quality: a model of virtual service quality dimensions. Managing Service Quality: An International Journal, 13 (3), 233–246.

Santos, E. A., & Torkomian, A. L. V. (2021). Characteristics of the digital entrepreneur: a multicase study in startups. International Journal of Innovation - IJI, 9(2), 219-238.

Sebora, T. C., Lee, S. M., & Sukasame, N. (2009). Critical success factors for e-commerce entrepreneurship: an empirical study of Thailand. Small Business Economics, 32 (3), 303–316.

Sung, T. K. (2006). E-commerce critical success factors: East vs. West. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 73 (9), 1161–1177.

Tabachnick, B., & Fidell, L. (2007). Multivariate analysis of variance and covariance. Using Multivariate Statistics, 3, 402–407. ISBN 9780134790541

Thornton, J., & Marche, S. (2003). Sorting through the dot bomb rubble: how did the high-profile e-tailers fail? International Journal of Information Management, 23 (2), 121–138.

Turban, E., Outland, J., King, D., Lee, J.K., Liang, T.-P., Turban, D.C. (2018). Electronic Commerce: A Managerial and Social Networks Perspective, 9th Edition. Springer.

Van Riel, A., Semeijn, J., & Janssen, W. (2003). E-service quality expectations: a case study. Total Quality Management & Business Excellence, 14 (4), 437–450.

Zeithaml, V. A. (2002). Service excellence in electronic channels. Managing Service Quality: An International Journal, 12 (3), 135–139.




How to Cite

Pham, Q. T., & Pham, D. K. (2021). The success of e-commerce startups: an empirical study in Vietnam. International Journal of Innovation, 9(3), 622–645.