Why is Lebanese e-commerce so dormant?
The retail sector has advanced drastically over the previous decade. Patrons are now not restricted by the bodily presence of stock, nor are they pressured to enterprise into their overheated automobiles, get caught in hours of visitors, solely to seek out out that the overcrowded buying heart has run out of their favourite merchandise.
E-commerce has allowed customers to buy something they want with the clicking of some buttons and a few days of supply time. Lebanon, with its rising web and bank card penetration, in addition to its tech-savvy and stylish consumers must be one of many area’s first e-commerce adopters! Nonetheless, Lebanon nonetheless depends very closely on bricks-and-mortar buying, whereas on-line buying is simply given a second (third, fourth, or fifth) thought! So why has e-commerce in Lebanon and the Center East lagged behind the remainder of the world? Under are the three main the explanation why Lebanese e-commerce has been struggling to catch up:
1- Lack of viable cost portals:
The nation has two comparatively out-dated cost portals that don’t combine with the web sites. As such, clients are directed to exterior hyperlinks and compelled to re-enter their bank card information for each buy. That is extremely impractical and reduces the benefit of second purchases.
Along with the out-dated nature of the cost portals, they command a monopoly in the marketplace and cost exorbitant charges: $350-$500 initiation payment, Three.5-Four.zero% transaction charges, in addition to $35-$50/month “upkeep” prices.
Moreover, the dearth of Paypal and different on-line cost portals in Lebanon creates an immense problem for e-commerce companies.
“Ease of cost” is ranked as one of many highest conversion elements for e-commerce companies. Lebanon offers dismal choices, and thus on-line companies wrestle to supply dynamic choices corresponding to one-click buying and Paypal.
2- Lack of sensible on-line buying:
Most new e-commerce companies within the Center East have been set as much as cater to the “stylish” and “hip” crowd. They provide flash gross sales of extremely priced designer gadgets, indexing of unique native boutique designers, or area of interest present gadgets that cater to area of interest customers. Moreover, the “previous guard” of e-commerce in Lebanon present the standard on-line present choices flowers, sweets, teddy bears, and different “one-off” emotional presents.
Except only a few websites, most Lebanese web sites have a really fundamental design with little consideration to practicality and element. Menus pop-up in impractical methods, information entry is difficult, and most merchandise will not be searchable.
Examples of those “old-guard” web sites are:
Exotica flowers: This website prices excessive delivery prices, overcharges for its bouquets, and tends to ship smaller and cheaper bouquets than it guarantees on-line (it is occurred to me on a number of events!). Moreover, they solely ship flowers! They’re one of many highest rating e-commerce websites in Lebanon at 1.3M globally (www.alexa.com). In addition they take credit score for adopting the net supply system early, though they have not felt the necessity to enhance because of lack of a large competitor.
Purchase Lebanese: Colours, fonts, sizes, pictures, and containers will not be user-friendly. Nonetheless, they rank fairly excessive on Alexa.com: 2.5M globally. This group takes credit score for being one of many early adopters of e-commerce in Lebanon! Hat-tip to their foresight!
961 presents: unsure concerning the web site title, the design seems to be fundamental, however menu gadgets are clear. Their product technique is broadly based mostly on flowers, perfumes, cosmetics, and brandless equipment – Four.2M international rating
Examples of the newer “area of interest client” websites are:
Lebelik, Eezmeez, Marka VIP
A number of the newer web sites have centered on nice design and have achieved relative success within the hip and younger markets. Nonetheless, except for Marka VIP which relies in Dubai, none have managed to really obtain a sufficiently giant market.
Three- Buying energy is within the expat neighborhood
Companies that target the native on-line buying energy will wrestle within the quick time period. Hopefully this can change as Lebanon progresses (hopefully). Nonetheless, till then, the shopping for energy for Lebanese e-commerce websites will likely be coming from Lebanon’s expat neighborhood searching for to supply presents to their households and family members in Lebanon. This creates a relatively difficult marketplace for e-commerce companies. How do you goal your diaspora? Who’s your goal client? Is the market over-saturated with one-time presents corresponding to sweets, flowers, and area of interest designer gadgets?
How one can fill the hole
As such we recognized the necessity for the institution of a sensible well-priced web site that gives clients sensible and high quality choices for presents or private use. The explanations I imagine that such a mannequin will overcome the sector’s challenges are:
a- The cost portal expertise will inevitably enhance, together with the market’s belief of on-line cost
b- The market is saturated with one-off present gadgets that usually fall beneath the flowers, sweets, and conventional present gadgets. Due to this fact, competitors is minimal
c- The market has seen top quality designer boutiques pop up on-line, however these solely cater to a distinct segment market segmentation. Highlighting the truth that the adoption of on-line purchases is on the rise
d- There is no such thing as a web site that gives sensible helpful family presents with top quality branded gadgets
In abstract, there’s a hole in well-priced high-quality branded gadgets on-line within the Center East and Lebanon. There’s a hole in web sites that present high quality home goods corresponding to Riedel, Nambe, Pip Studio, Bodum, Greenpan, Photographs D’Orient, Voluspa, in addition to many different international manufacturers. Relatively than sending flowers, sweets or highly-priced area of interest merchandise, would not the patron wish to have a web-based possibility for:
a- Housewarming presents to Lebanon
b- Wedding ceremony registries in Lebanon
c- Wedding ceremony presents to Lebanon
d- Lebanese presents that don’t contain low cost chinese language merchandise, high-priced area of interest gadgets, or flowers and sweets!