New statistics show that only in Tehran, over 20 thousand online shops are operating and the overall trade value for these online shops in Iran has passed 17.4 billion dollars. Up until a few years ago Iranians were foreign to online shopping but today even the elderly citizens are buying from online merchants on a regular basis. What is the reason behind this fast change in the Iranian users’ behavior?
More Reliable Internet Connection
One of the key reasons behind this growth could be the improvement of the internet infrastructure in Iran. Rouhani’s government has put a significant effort on improving the internet speed and lowering its costs for the end-user in the past years. Iran also launched the first phase of its National Information Network recently which provides new e-government services and helps with the cost reduction of internal Internet traffic for Iranians. Latest statistics show that internet penetration in Iran has reached to 82.12% and mobile internet in Iran has also improved massively. Currently 19 million Iranians are connected to the internet via their mobile phones and the citizens of 600 cities in the country have access to 3G internet and 4G internet is accessible to more than 200 cities. Iran’s second largest mobile operator, Irancell is currently testing out it’s 5G (4.5G) internet and is competing hard with the other mobile operators to provide better services to its users.
Securing the User’s Online Presence
The other major change that has led to the growth of online shopping in Iran is the implementation of new trust strategies by the e-commerce giants in the country. Other factors such as guarantying the product’s quality, and secure check-outs have had a big role on building trust for Iranian customers. Iran’s Cyber Police has also had a significant role in reducing online crimes and building up the trust for Iranians while shopping online. Online shops in Iran also need to apply for a variety of online seals such as E-namad in order to operate officially.
Offering Various Shipping Methods and Improved Return Policies
In order to attract more users, these websites have soothed the customers’ fears by providing various return options for them, something that has not yet been widely offered by offline merchants in Iran. Online merchants are now actually competing with each other by providing longer return policies for their potential customers. Online clothing merchants are also offering on-door try-on with much cheaper prices than offline retailers and are slowly attracting a good share of the market.
With the major improvements of internet infrastructure and the strategies implemented by the major e-commerce players in Iran, users are now putting more trust on online shopping. It seems that online ordering in Iran is almost the same as other developed countries and Iranians are becoming more comfortable in shopping online.