E-commerce in Nepal
The growth of Internet users in Nepal and the amount of time they spend on the Internet has changed the marketing game of the business. Business has been running behind the consumers for a long time, and they are trying to grow their presence on the internet.
Some business has even entirely built their storefront online, while some businesses are using social media platforms. Either way, companies have already forecast the Internet as the future of the business market in Nepal.
Internet users in Nepal
63 percent of Nepalese have access to the internet. (11% in 2011)
95 percent access the Internet through mobile phones.
50 ISP (Internet Service Provider) is registered in Nepal.
40k+ registered commercial websites in Nepal.
Source: NTA’s MIS, export.gov
The above figure presents a fascinating opportunity and excuses for business to grow their online presence and online business.
In 2000, Munchahouse.com was started by a department store Muncha house which was probably the first online shopping site in the History of Nepal. Since then, there are a lot of e-commerce websites in Nepal like Nepbay, SastoDeal, Foodmandu.
In 2009 the first payment Gateway E-sewa was established and later licensed by Nepal Rastra Bank as a payment service provider within Nepal. Since then there are other payment services too like Khalti, iPay, IME Pay, e-khalti, ePay.
All these have contributed to the growth of online shopping in Nepal.
#14 REASON PEOPLE SHOP ONLINE
TIME – Time is money; No one wants to waste their valuable time. Going to the physical market is time-consuming. Getting a bus/vehicle, walking around the market and to the home can spend a fruitful time of the day.
ANY TIME – Online Shopping is available for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. You don’t have to worry about Mall being closed.
ANY PLACE – You can even order while in the commode! You can be anywhere with the internet connection and buy the product online.
WEAR – You can wear anything or nothing! You don’t have to worry about what dress to wear.
WEATHER – You don’t have to carry an Umbrella, or worry about getting sunburn. Stay warm and safe inside the home.
DELIVERY – Product is delivered right in the door-step. You don’t have to carry all those shopping bags with you.
MULTITASK – One can scroll through items in his phone while having lunch. You can place an order in the middle of anything.
COMPARE –No need to walk store to store. Open as many tabs and online stores to find the same products and compare their prices and specification.
VARIETY/SELECTION – Lot of choices to select from, Select your category, size, color and choose from a lot of options available
EASY TO SEARCH – Just Google and choose, Nothing is hard to find if you want to buy something. You will quickly locate the items in the Web.
IGNORE THREAT – there is always an outside chance of pickpocket or losing your money/wallet. Even your card can be mishandled.
AVOID CROWDS – Best for People who don’t like the crowd or public places. Some people hate shopping only because of the group and rush they have to face. No more!
CHEAP – Online goods are usually less expensive than the physical market, They don’t have to pay expensive rent for their showrooms.
INTROVERT – Introvert people can shop like an extrovert. You don’t have to worry about bargaining the high prices in the physical market.
KIDS – Kids won’t get bored or endlessly angle for a toy or pack of gum at the checkout counter.
The list goes on, and there are a lot of reasons why people prefer buying online rather than leave their home to the physical market. This shows how important it is for a business to build their online store and adapt with the trend.
ONLINE CONSUMER BEHAVIOR IN NEPAL
According to the research conducted by www.theseus.fi
Online shopping people in Nepal are price sensitive.
Online shopping people in Nepal expect the product to be precise as described.
Online shopping people in Nepal also expect excellent customer service before and after sales
Online shopping people in Nepal is highly influenced by the opinions & recommendation of friends and family
Online shopping people in Nepal also expect the payment system to be comfortable and flexible
These are the key points to focus for any e-commerce or online business.
TOP ONLINE SHOPPING SITES IN NEPAL
Hamrobazar is a free classified site where individuals, as well as companies, can list their various items for sale with comprehensive details. All the things listed are posted by the user itself and buyers directly contact the seller, so Hamrobazar is only a platform. They provide the status of Hamrobazar Shops to those who have been authorizing by the site as genuine and trustworthy.
Started in 2013 as Kyamu is one of the top online shopping sites in Nepal. It was later rebranded as Daraz. In March 2018 Daraz was acquired by the Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba Group.
Foodmandu is the first online food ordering and delivery services in Nepal that delivers food from hundreds of favorite restaurants. People can use the search box to search various food items and select one from the different listed restaurant. The service is available from 11:00 AM to 8:30 PM (NST).
The first of its kind in 2000 a department store Muncha House in Balkumari, Ason launched Munchahouse.com. The store was live and for online shopping in Nepal back then. It was famous for people from UK, USA, Australia to buy gifts for their friends and Family. It later changed its Domain Name to Muncha.com as one of the e-commerce sites in Nepal.
In 2011 Amun Thapa founded Sasto Deal Pvt. Ltd. and launched e-commerce website sastodeal.com. In 2018, Dolma Impact Fund made a significant investment in the equity of sastodeal that makes it one of the leading online shopping site in Nepal
Started in 2007 as an online directory of products and shops in Kathmandu Nepbay is a unique online store that provides a platform for all the significant happenings including National & International news, online polls, quizzes.
Consequences of online shopping for small/local business in Nepal
Small and local business in Nepal usually has a limited area of its business. A flower vendor in Asson has a small market area around his local storefront. Due to lack of awareness, these local business sees the growth of online shopping as a threat and competition to their local businesses.
What they don’t know is the growing trend of online shopping in Nepal is actually an opportunity to extend and grow the market.
Online shopping can be a boon for these local/small businesses if they choose to adopt with the time and advancement of the digital technology.
People visit the physical market less and browse product online. If a local/small business doesn’t make their online presence, they will slowly lose their customers to the competitors by providing online services.
Many e-commerce websites in Nepal allow listing of products and services for FREE. Consumers can directly contact these businesses via contact details submitted by the businesses
All they need is a warehouse (which they already have), hire a couple of people to start their own online retail business. It is less costly to run an online business than running a physical store.
How does small/local business adopt with online shopping trend?
You don’t need a different e-commerce website to run an online business. You can use the power of Digital Marketing to let people know about your product and let them buy it online. The whole world will be a marketplace for these small businesses if they invest a little in their Digital Marketing Strategy.
These local/small businesses can use Social Media platforms like Facebook and Instagram to aware/sell/attract/retain their customers. This Social Media Platform can work as your own online store-front.
Local SEO can also help these businesses grow and reach new audiences. These audiences are highly targeted and potential customers. To cite a simple example: When People make a local search query in Google like “buy flowers near me”, Google lists limited no of flower shops near the search location. Local SEO helps you to be on the list and generate the lead for you.
Local/small business also can hire an online marketing company to do their online job. It costs a little compared to the potential growth in leads.
There are a lot of ways to use the power of the internet to adopt the growing trends in online shopping in Nepal. The Internet is the next big marketplace. Business needs to grab their place before it’s too saturated.