E-COMMERCE TRENDS IN NEPAL AND ITS CHALLENGES
E-commerce in Nepal is starting to get accepted by many, especially inside Kathmandu Valley, but like any industry, it is not free from challenges. As the whole world is walking towards the digital era where even shopping can be done online, Nepal has also made quite a progress on this field though not as much compared to the e-commerce giants of the world.
E-commerce refers to buying and selling of products and services over the internet, be it through a website or social media. E-commerce has made it easier to buy a wide variety of products and get it delivered right at your doorstep. Searching, comparing, reviewing and buying of products and services has never been easier. The current leaders of e-commerce in Nepal are undoubtedly Daraz, SastoDeal, Hamrobazar, Nepbay, and many more small companies are following these trends.
The e-commerce market in Nepal is getting crowded day by day where smaller startups are trying to earn their place. With new e-commerce being established at a rapid phase, the total e-commerce market is estimated to worth more than 25 million which will easily triple in coming days. The future of e-commerce in Nepal is bright. Even the e-commerce giant Alibaba has made a large investment in one of the top e-commerce of Nepal i.e Daraj. This itself proves that the market is going to get quite competitive in the coming days. However, the challenges in e-commerce can’t be neglected, especially not in Nepal.
Increase in competitors doesn’t always mean that the quality of products and service is going to increase at the same ratio. Many startups are also failing because of the fact that the competition is getting fierce. Many companies are unable to find and set their goals and with every e-commerce trying to feed in all kinds of products, it’s a game of price, where the lowest one is able to sustain. Thus, it’s a steep battle and definitely a challenge to stand out in the crowd.
Lack of Trust
The major challenges most e-commerce companies in Nepal face is convincing the audience that they can be trusted. There are many factors that contribute to this and disappointing first experience is a major one. When one company screws a customer, then it not only affects that company, it will affect the overall market. Another factor is the trend that people of Nepal still prefer to see and feel the goods before buying them. They want to inspect the goods closely, bargain and then buy them. Even though e-commerce is an easy buy solution in western countries, many people in Nepal are not able to see this because of the lack of professional service.
Lack of Online Payment Methods
This is a major issue but is also a problem that has already improved to a great degree. In maybe a few years we’ll have a reliable and easy way of making a reliable online transaction. Although we do have digital payments methods in Nepal such as eSewa, Khalti and many more, Cash on delivery is still a preferred method. We are still not accustomed to using digital wallets.
Lack of Proper Address System
The main objective of e-commerce is to get the product delivered to the doorsteps. With complicated and incomplete address system in Nepal, this is not possible. What most e-commerce companies do is make a call during delivery and agree to meet at a certain known place. Nepal has yet to solve this problem. This problem is not only a challenge to the e-commerce sector in Nepal, but it’s also an issue to many other industries
Lack of Clear Governing Rules and Regulations.
I do not know the exact statistics but many e-commerce websites are not even registered in Nepal. People are not clear whether they need to do that in the first place. The government has not created a framework for this area, so it is difficult for many to find the right way.
Although a lot of work is still yet to be done and many things are still to be figured out, the future of e-commerce in Nepal still seems to be bright. The challenges are huge but the possibilities are endless.