Uzbekistan - ECommerceUzbekistan - ECommerce
The number of Internet service providers has grown in Uzbekistan, but penetration remains low and government regulation is strict.
Tashkent, with 90 percent of the country’s Internet users, is the only viable eCommerce market in Uzbekistan. Although the Parliament approved the "Law on Electronic Digital Signature” in 2005, providing a basis for legal Internet transactions, the main barriers to development of eCommerce are insufficient electronic banking services and undeveloped trade regulations. Basic Internet service is adequate and Uzbekistan has extensive fiber optic networks. The number of Internet users exceeds 13 million people. Increased Internet service delivery by mobile phone operators contributes to the potential for eCommerce, and there are approximately 23 million cell phone users in the country now.
Current Market Trends
A law on eCommerce was adopted in 2004 and further amended in 2015. In April 2017, the Central Bank of Uzbekistan amended the decree “Regulations on the procedure for the use of bank cards by individual entrepreneurs in national currency”. According to the new regulations, an individual entrepreneur has the right to transfer his bank card to other people for use. An individual entrepreneur can also use a bank card to pay for production costs as well as goods and services. The main barriers for eCommerce development are customs regulations and conversion limitations.
Domestic eCommerce (B2C)
One of the key factors in the development of domestic eCommerce in Uzbekistan is the improvement of mobile payment services. Smart phones can now be linked to bank cards for sales purchases. This method of payment for both the seller and the buyer is more convenient than a plastic bank card.
Chinese and Turkish products are popular with the local population. Most popular online purchases are healthy and beauty products, electronics, clothing and shoes. As a relative newcomer to eCommerce sales, Uzbekistan’s market is not saturated and open to new products and ideas. Conversion and customs regulations are several factors currently inhibiting eCommerce sales.
Some companies host eCommerce sites (such as www.glotr.uz and www.zor.uz), and many individual Uzbek companies maintain an Internet presence. Beginning January 5, 2016, Uzbekistan Airways launched online ticket sales for flights.
eCommerce Intellectual Property Rights
Please refer to the Intellectual Property Rights section under the Investment Climate Statement
Popular eCommerce Sites
Online payment is done through the use of bank cards and smartphones.
Mobile eCommerce is still developing and not widespread in Uzbekistan. Mobile applications are used for both advertising and information purposes as well as payment, although the majority of transactions are still done by cash.
Digital marketing is new to Uzbekistan. In general, foreign firms use social media for advertising purposes.
Major Buying Holidays
- New Year
- International Women’s Day (March 8)
Facebook and Telegram are widely used for B2B and B2C sales.
Uzbekistan eCommerce Industry Trade Development and Promotion eCommerce