EghtesadOnline: The annual report published by Digikala, a domestic prototype of Amazon in Iran and one of the country's leading online retailers, casts light on Iran’s e-commerce scene in the previous Iranian year that ended in March 2021.
Released by the online store’s Business Intelligence Department, the report provides insights into the online shopping behavior of Iranian consumers.
The data can also help Iranian producers working with Digikala to optimize supply and retail.
In addition, other producers active in the Iranian e-commerce landscape can also use the data to tweak their supply chain, retail and marketing systems. It will also help economic policymakers identify and fulfill the infrastructural and transit needs of these systems.
According to the report, Digikala’s website had over 30 million visitors per month, making it the most popular online shop in Iran. In the last fiscal year, the shop’s online shelves displayed over 4.5 million products offered by over 150,000 local suppliers.
As per these figures, each purchase averaged 8.3 million rials ($32).
The shop’s website received 17.2 million visits per day, each averaging around 8.5 minutes.
Some 25,000 new customers created accounts on the shop’s website and the number of daily orders reached 1.6 million during the fiscal 2020-21.
The highest and lowest number of orders were placed respectively in December 2020 and April-May 2019.
Based on the report, smartphones, footwear and facemasks were the three most in-demand products ordered by Digikala’s customers.
The most active customer’s purchase value totaled 186 billion rials ($715,000) in the year under review and the largest shopping cart included 2,586 items.
Over 68% of the online shop’s customers were men in the age-group of 25-34 years. Digikala’s mobile application has been the most convenient means of purchase (56%), followed by web application (27%) and website (17%).
The report says 79.6% of customers paid for their orders online, 18.4% used pay-on-delivery via POS and 1.9% had gift cards.
The capital city of Tehran is home to the highest number of Digikala customers, followed by Alborz and Qom provinces.
The report shows that the Net Merchandise Value of Digikala registered a 151% growth year-on-year and its average NMV in the past eight years reached 107%.
Last year’s figures show that the online shop’s NMV registered a 112% growth compared to the year before.
Digikala is a secure and transactional website where selected suppliers can sell their products or services to buyers. Buyers' transactions are processed by a marketplace operator and usually delivered by the supplier.
It was launched 12 years ago by two brothers, Hamid and Saeed Mohammadi, who were looking for a digital SLR camera in Tehran's electronics bazaar, at the Hafez-Jomhouri junction. The camera body was new but its lens turned out to be secondhand, leading the two Mohammadi brothers to start the online marketplace from a small two-room apartment in central Tehran.
Digikala promoted entrepreneurship in the country, which paved the way for other startups and created thousands of direct and indirect employment opportunities.
Since its launch, the online store has expanded the categories of goods available for purchase and now includes sports and leisure, healthcare and beauty, home appliances and artistic products.
As of August 23, 2021, Digikala’s global ranking was 145 based on data published by Alexa.com.
Leading classified ads website Divar.ir, where people sell, buy or swap cars, furniture, household appliances or musical instrument, is also very popular in Iran.
Launched in 2007, it took Divar (meaning “wall” in Farsi) until 2013 to focus its activities on online sales. It is now the sixth most visited website, making it the fourth most popular Iranian startup.
Quite similar to Divar, Sheypoor is also an online ad platform. It was launched in 2010 and now ranks 106 in Iran and 6,595 globally.
Youth is the largest population bloc in Iran. Over 60 percent of Iran’s 82 million people are under 30 years old.
More than half of Iran’s youth population use modern technologies and own nearly 30 million smartphones, creating a huge business potential for both budding and well-developed startups.