E-commerce has been slow to take hold in Cambodia. Cambodia ecommerce law, or lack thereof, has received a lot of media attention. Cambodia is currently the only ASEAN nation that does not possess this kind of legislation, although it is expected soon, with a draft being revised by lawmakers at time of writing.
It remains uncertain as to what would be the reach of the envisioned legislation, however insiders believe the focus will be on providing a framework for internet-based trading and payments systems. Consumer protection and privacy are also critical issues that the new law should address.
“Right now, there are few consumer protections to build trust in online shopping,” said McCarthy. “The law on e-commerce is a step forward, but much remains to be done both to shore up consumer and business confidence in e-commerce, as well as to integrate with the broader Asean Economic Community and receive the benefits of that union.”
Online shopping has become very popular in the last few years with the advent of numerous online shopping portals in Cambodia. There are significant problems associated with physical retail stores such as the almost never-ending traffic congestions on roads and people thronging super markets to get their monthly shopping done.
They think the online shopping market is more for products that you cannot get through regular retail outlets. Because the retail market is still small, that is a real opportunity in Cambodia. You often see small entrepreneurs, who for example go to Thailand, buy 100 dresses, come back, and put them online.
For most residents of Cambodia, the postal system has a bad reputation. It can take weeks for an item to arrive from abroad, and without a computerized system, recipients often have to look up their package by country of origin in handwritten notebooks. Sometimes their arrival is accompanied by surprise customs fees, and sometimes it doesn’t arrive at all.
Although 32.5% of the Cambodia uses the internet, only 8% of Cambodians use the internet to shop – on par with Ghana, Egypt, and Myanmar (whose internet is significantly worse), according to Kantar TNS’s Connected Life report. It means Cambodians also miss out on many deals like “Singles’ Day,” November 11, a shopping “holiday” started by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba that is now the biggest shopping day in the world.
“So although e-commerce in Cambodia is in its infancy, businesses have adapted to the local market to find ways to allow customers to shop online. As more and more banks are offering VISA debit cards, the market will only continue to expand.”
Top 10 e-commerce websites in the Cambodia
E-commerce is set to flourish in the Kingdom, with several local online shopping sites such as Glad Market, Shop168 and MALL855 gaining popularity. Worldbridge International and ACLEDA Bank’s My All in One Mall (MAIO Mall) is another impressive e-commerce initiative. The site showcases goods from over 70 companies, giving customers the ability to choose from a vast catalog of products.
Sun Socheat is the head of one such company, Mall 855, which was the brainchild of a handful of Cambodian IT experts that identified the need for an online marketplace in the country. People use Mall 855 to sell everything from washing machines, to cars, to houses and other property.
“[The c2c market] is not really as mature as in developed countries, but it’s gradually increasing,” said Mr. Socheat. “Our next step is if we can provide a feature for people to pay through our website, then connect to a delivery company. For now, we get income from ads.” Mall 855 is in talks with a Malaysian company that could provide a high quality payment gateway. It’s also looking for logistics companies to deliver their goods. For the time being, buyers and sellers are responsible for their own arrangements. More Startups En Route Mr. Socheat said he knows of many e-commerce startups in Cambodia that will launch within the next several years.
MAIO and its MAIO Mall was established as a brand of WorldBridgE Commerce Co., Ltd. to serve as central online hub for SE Asia. Domiciled in Cambodia. MAIO Mall stands for My All In One Mall, and is a large-scale ecommerce platform. On there you will be able to find clothes, electronic products, accessories and much more including services, bookings, etc.
They definitely want to become a Southeast Asia ecommerce solution. They will be based mainly in Cambodia till 2017 – to set a strong foundation, but latest in 2018 they aim to expand to the surrounding regions. MAIO believe they have a chance at penetrating the international market because of their infrastructure and existing international partnerships.
If you enjoy online shopping and you love skincare products, you’ve probably already heard of Roserb, a locally based online platform offering over 50 kinds of cosmetics and skincare brands. Since its launch in March 2014, this e-commerce platform has made good progress, bridging suppliers and customers efficiently.
Chum Borey, founder of Roserb.com, an online shop that specialises in cosmetics and clothing, said that while a state-backed e-commerce company would increase competition in the nascent sector, it would provide more consumer confidence for those venturing into digital shopping. “More big operators in the market will help to improve customers’ perception about shopping online through public awareness,” he said. “It will also help the e-commerce sector develop faster.”
As internet usage continues to rise more and more consumers are shopping online for new products and better prices. This has led to an increase in international ecommerce as people look beyond their own country’s border for that bargain.
With China’s role as “the world’s factory” firmly established, the website Aliexpress is helping consumers buy directly from source at very attractive prices. Aliexpress was launched by Alibaba Group in 2010 as a B2C platform for Chinese companies to sell to foreigners. Hangzhou-based Alibaba Group is a huge Chinese ecommerce company which dominates their domestic B2C market with offerings such as Taobao and Tmall. Already very well known for their international B2B platform Alibaba.com, it finally achieved true worldwide recognition when they launched the largest ever IPO in New York in September 2014.
Aliexpress is a B2C ecommerce platform which allows Chinese individuals and companies to sell their products directly to foreign consumers. Similar to eBay, sellers on Aliexpress can be either companies or individuals. Aliexpress is different to Amazon because it acts only as an ecommerce platform and doesn’t sell products directly to consumers. Interestingly, Aliexpress doesn’t allow consumers in mainland China to buy from the platform and doesn’t allow non-Chinese individuals & companies to open stores.
Taobao.com can be most easily be referred to as the “Chinese Ebay”. When Taobao was founded the target was to provide private people a chance to sell the stuff they didn’t need any more. The classical C2C portal was born – very similar to “our” Ebay.
In 2010 Taobao opened a market place for professional sellers, for brands and authorized traders. They called this “Taobao Mall”, which was later renamed into “tmall”. At this time Tmall was transferred to an own Domain.
The first barrier foreign people face when trying to shop on Taobao is the Chinese language. Of course you can always use automtic online translation system such as Google translate (wich is btw built into the Google Chrome webbrowser by default). But the Chinese language is way different from English (or from other western languages as for example Russian or Spanish), which often leads to mistakes in automatic translation.
If you do speak Chinese the next step would be to register on taobao. Registering on Taobao needs you to leave a Chinese mobile phone number. This usually is no problem for Expats or other foreigners living in China. But it can be a barrier for people living overseas. If could successfully register on taobao.com you will need Chinese payment methods to actually purchase from taobao. The most popluar online payment method in China and on taobao is “Alipay” (which can be compared with the paypal we know).
To get around these barriers you can always try using an Taobao Agent Service. They usually help you with questions to the products you intend to buy (just ask them everything that you need to know before purchasing and they will ask the taobao seller for you). They usually offer a large variety of international payment methods that you can use to transfer money to them and they proceed the ourchase for you – including to arrange international shipping to your destination address (which many taobao sellers will not offer even if you managed to get over the other barriers).
Ever found it hard to secure a seat on the buses back to your provinces during Khmer New Year? You are not alone. “Back in 2013, during Khmer New Year, when I was on my trip back to Battambang province, finding a bus in Cambodia was very painful. Every bus company was full and normally we go to the provinces by bus. But that time, I ended up going by taxi. After several calls, I was transferred from one driver to another driver. It was definitely more expensive than taking a bus. And this is a problem; I started to think what could be the solution. Within these 5 hours of sitting in the taxi, you cannot do anything; you can only just sit in the car. So I took that time to take a survey with the taxi driver, I asked him what does he think if we published his profile to the website and everyone can contact him directly.” said Bookmebus.com’s founder, Langda Chea.
David Totten, director of Emerging Markets Consulting, said the possibilities for growth of the two local ticketing platforms remain very big, especially as more Cambodians start using the services.
“The ticketing market in which CamboTicket and BookMeBus operate is broadly limited by the adoption of cashless payment systems while the market for independent travel is mostly limited to backpackers and a small segment of the Cambodian population,” he said.
Nika Phone Shop is located in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Company is working in communications, providing customers with endless choices of smartphone & watches from the leading brands. As local ecommerce Nika website traffic is popular among Cambodian people.
This site quite similar with Nika, a local ecommerce from Cambodia. Tight page view perdays between Nika. Cambodian entrepreneurs are seeking to create ‘Made in Cambodia’ solutions which capitalize on the country’s growing technology and internet adoption rates. In 2000, only 6,000 Cambodians used the internet, whereas now some five million do so, mainly via the use of smartphones. Traditional telecommunication infrastructure has been leap-frogged with only 88,000 Cambodians having access to a landline, but 94% of the population reporting access to a mobile phone, 40% of which are smartphones. Cambodia not only became the first country in the world to have more mobile than landline phone users, it also boast one of the fastest growing internet penetration rates. In 2010, only 0.5% of Cambodians were online, by 2013 it was 31.8% – more recent estimates now see close to half of all Cambodians with internet access. and increasing by 2017.
Moreover, “there are not many angel investors or other forms of alternative financing in Cambodia, and there is little government support, so access to finance remains the main challenge for [SMEs],” notes Chansamrach Lem, managing director of the Cambodia Investors Club (CIC) and founder of Komchey. The latter, which launched on January 14th, is Cambodia’s first peer-to-peer online lending service; while other P2P options exists, Komchey is the first designed and owned by Cambodians. “We wanted to disrupt the traditional way of providing finance to SMEs and startups,” remarks Lem.
While Komchey has found a business opportunity in circumventing existing barriers, other start-ups still face financing problems. While platforms like Komchey will help, Cambodia also needs to better integrate itself into the global venture capital sector in order to attract greater attention. This appears to be beginning, as Khmrload – modelled on the Buzzfeed model – became the first Cambodian company to receive funding from Silicon Valley – $200,000 to be precise. CEO and founder In Vichet is also driving force behind the popular Little Fashions e-commerce site.