Kathmandu: With the reach of smartphones and the internet to every Nepali hand, online shopping platforms are simultaneously reaching every doorstep in Nepal. Nowadays, customers receive daily useful commodities at their doorsteps in just a click. All thanks to online shopping–an easy and hassle-free shopping platform.
Though online shopping does not have a long history in Nepal–not more than a decade or so–its growth is rapid, and the advancement in technology has made it more viable and convenient.
In recent years, the number of online websites and pages serving customers throughout the country has witnessed an uptick. But at the same time, the challenges of online shopping have grown in abundance.
Despite the rise and popularity of online shopping in Nepal, the largest portion of customers (even youths and literate ones) still dodge online shopping and practice traditional shopping in their day-to-day life. Drawbacks and flaws have accompanied the online shopping platform throughout its journey of growing popularity.
Recently Nepal Live Today talked to people from different walks of life about their preferences for shopping and their experience with online shopping.
A 26-year-old Avijeet Pokharel from Biratnagar says he does not find online shopping fun. “The limited options to choose from and lack of a trial system holds me back from online shopping,” he said.
“I am well aware of the benefits of online shopping, but as I like to check the quality of the products and bargain, it is not a suitable option for me,” he added.
Despite the rise and popularity of online shopping in Nepal, the largest portion of customers (even youths and literate ones) still dodge online shopping and practice traditional shopping in their day-to-day life.
Sambhriddhi Vaiba from Kathmandu has also faced complications while shopping online. “I have been tricked many times while shopping online and wasted my money,” she shared.
According to her, she finds online shopping tricky because the purchased item differs in quality and reality from what is showcased on the website/page. Similarly, some pages ask for pre-payment but delay the delivery time. “The saddest part about online shopping is that one can not bargain as in traditional shopping,” she said. “Also, in some cases, they showcase their product on different online platforms without mentioning the price.”
The online shopping platform’s staff, however, deny the allegations.
Ritik Shahi, head of marketing at Sastodeal said, “We feel like customers don’t understand how e-commerce works. Talking about quality, we believe that customers should expect the quality of the purchased item as per the amount they have paid for it.” According to him, most of their customers belong to Kathmandu and major cities, as residents in other cities still lack access to technology.
When asked why the purchased item differs in reality from what is showcased on the website/page, Shahi answered, “Let me give you an example. An individual’s picture on a Facebook profile is not the same as how they look in real life. It is the same case in displayed goods. It surely varies from the picture shown.”
Some online shopping platforms claim that they are trying to fix the flaws in the technology.
With a goal of making online shopping flexible like traditional shopping without any issues of bargaining, Sasto Wholesale has incorporated a chat system between customer and vendor which allows the customers to freely query about products and ask for discounts. Managing Director of Sasto Wholesale, Sagar Shrestha said, “Talking about the difference between the displayed products and products the customers receive, it obviously depends on editing but our chat system helps customers to get a genuine idea of what a product looks like in reality.”