Cambodia - eCommerceCambodia - eCommerce
E-commerce is relatively undeveloped compared to Cambodia’s neighbors. Impediments to its development include inadequate internet infrastructure, limited audiences, delivery system challenges, and minimal credit card use. In addition, almost all transactions are settled through cash-on-delivery, raising concerns about security and costs. Other impediments include the high cost of electricity and a lack of trained ICT professionals. Some local banks have begun to issue credit cards in order to facilitate purchases made through the internet. There is a growing number of online shopping websites that cater mostly to the small number of urban consumers with access to the internet. Social media, such as Facebook, is increasingly used as a platform for online shopping and media space. A draft e-commerce law is currently under review by the Council of Ministers, though it has not been made public. Cambodia is the only ASEAN nation that does not have eCommerce law.
Current Market Trends
Cambodians are adopting E-Commerce both as consumers and merchants, and there is significant untapped market potential in the sector fueled by exploding internet access, high smart phone penetration and a young, growing middle class. Despite a slow development of eCommerce, there is an upward trend on tech-based startups. Mediaload, dubbed the Cambodian Buzzfeed, has attracted 56 million page views per month from over seven million unique visitors from all over Asia. 500 Startups, a global venture capital seed fund based in California, has invested USD 200,000 in Mediaload.
In early 2017, E-commerce platform Tesjor (Cambodian for Tourist) launched an application to enable a wide range of online services from food ordering to hotel booking and reserving transportation. Unlike the usual cash on delivery, the app integrates mandatory cashless payment systems, a first in Cambodia.
Pi Pay, a cashless payment platform partnering with Alipay of Alibaba, was launched in 2017. Six months after the launch, Pi Pay has rapidly grown with more than 168,000 downloads of the app and $27 million U.S. dollars being spent or transferred by users on the app.
Mobile eCommerce in Cambodia has enjoyed fast growth over the past few years. Mobile internet access is affordable, with costs below the global average, and about 50% of Cambodians own a smartphone. Smartphone adoption is growing at a fast pace. Mobile money transfer options have grown rapidly in popularity, even in the countryside. Transactions for online shopping are made through mobile money transfers in this limited credit card market. Both homegrown and international ride hailing apps have been booming in urban areas, Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, and Sihanouk Ville.
Cambodia has seen an increase of active internet users from about 28,000 to 7.1 million over the past 8 years, and active Facebook users increased from 4.8 million to 6.8 million in 2017. Traditional advertising methods through mainstream media such as TV and radio are transitioning to online marketing to target younger Cambodians. Cambodia is a very young country with 70% of the population under the age of 35.
Cambodia eCommerce Industry Trade Development and Promotion eCommerce