E-commerce is the buying and selling of goods and services, or transmitting of funds or data, over the internet. E-commerce today is popularly known as online shopping. Online shopping was invented by Michael Aldrich in 1979. Since then, a lot of e-commerce websites have been launched, out of which Amazon, Alibaba, Walmart, eBay, etc. are the internationally leading ones.
E-commerce started in Nepal in 1999 and thamel.com is the one who pioneered e-commerce in Nepal. Thamel.com was started as a platform for sending gifts and money online, promoting “Send Gifts to Nepal” and was targeted to Nepali people living abroad. It has been more than a decade since its launch, and thanks to technological advancement, e-commerce sites are mushrooming and has become kind of a trend nowadays. From groceries to books, clothes, services, electric appliances, vehicles, houses, and land, we can buy everything online.
E-commerce thing was not so popular few years back in Nepal like it is today. With the recent entry of global players like daraz.com.np (initially kaymu.com), the e-commerce sector has started to heat up and has influenced many buyers and sellers to go online, which is a good thing. People have finally started to buy and sell stuff online. In short, online shopping is gaining momentum in Nepal.
Why would people buy online? Well, the comfort of buying stuff sitting in your living room, sipping a cup of tea, going over a range of products through your smartphone or a laptop, saves time, energy and travel cost. The goods get delivered on your doorstep, so you don’t have to worry about anything and just do you work. That’s the beauty of online shopping.
Despite online shopping heating up in Nepal, many people still think twice before purchasing online. People are still skeptical about online shopping. There are a lot of challenges that e-commerce companies have to go through too. Online shopping is called so because everything should happen online but the online payment gateway in Nepal is very limited, so the only alternative is ‘Cash on Delivery’ service. We have online payment platforms like eSewa, iPay, HelloPaisa, Khalti but still, the online transactions are narrow. The another most important factor is delivery and logistics. The delivery service seems okay in Kathmandu valley, but it’s awful in other parts of Nepal. If these two things are to be developed, the e-commerce market in Nepal is sure to rise.
In spite of such challenges, some e-commerce companies are doing really well in Nepal. Foodmandu is doing a really good business. Similarly, muncha.com, metrotarkari.com, merokirana.com, bhatbhatenionline.com, sastodeal.com, etc. are also doing good. The saying “Where there is a will, there is a way” suits perfectly in this context. Through this blog, I also want to wish them success and encourage wantrepreneurs to start their own e-commerce business. If you can combine e-commerce with an innovative idea, it is sure to work.