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More Nepalis shopping online
Publication Date : 23-08-2013
Growing Internet penetration and increasing awareness about e-commerce have encouraged Nepalis to shop in the cyberspace, where virtual shopping malls offer a variety of products and services.
Although touching and feeling a product is still an essential part of shopping in Nepal, these virtual shopping spaces have been changing the way people make purchases. Shoppers now make their buying decisions based on the information gathered online.
Those involved in e-commerce say the trend of buying online has been growing by 100 per cent annually. Every year, they say, Internet accessibility is increasing, people are becoming more tech savvy, and are imitating the western lifestyle, giving the sector an overwhelming boost. Also, convenience is a value addition to products and services offered online.
“The booming e-commerce market has been changing the way Nepalis shop,” says Manohar Adhikari, chief executive officer of foodmandu.com, which offers food delivery services in Kathmandu in working collaboration with more than 100 hotels and restaurants.
Around two and half years agom when foodmandu.com made its foray into the domestic market, many were doubtful about its survival.
However, the e-commerce site, which has been delivering meals to the doorsteps of the general public, has been able to carve out a niche for itself. It has been witnessing a whopping growth of 150 per cent annually.
“When we started, there were days when there wouldn’t be a single order. Now, we are consistently delivering around 70 orders a day on an average,” said Adhikari.
Another e-commerce venture which launched around eight months ago - metrotarkari.com - is also witnessing a similar response. “We wanted to do something new, but we were unsure about the response.
"It has just been eight months since we launched and the growth rate has been phenomenal. This has been made possible by the overall growth of the industry,” said Anil Basnet, chief executive officer of metrotarkari.com.
“Over the last eight months, our business has grown by around 200-300 per cent.” The site, which initially focused only on delivering vegetables, has since expanded its products by adding fruits, meat, dairy products, bakery goods and other groceries.
Both Basnet and Adhikari said e-commerce has been flourishing in Nepal because it adds convenience to the people’s lives.
“Most of the orders are from residential areas outside the ring road, where there are few big markets. Also, people living in such places usually have hectic schedules,” Basnet said.
“People are busy these days, but they cannot stay away from social obligations,” said Adhikari, adding the trend of ordering food online for small house parties is also on the rise.