The tough market of online sales - Technology
The tough market of online sales

The tough market of online sales

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Jilda and Dalipi have been focusing entirely on their new entrepreneurship for a year. Sometimes with big and sometimes smaller steps, they already count in their portfolio 130 retail stores and over 30,000 different products.

The initial business idea had nothing to do with the online sales part. With the background of the IT and seeing that the news sites were moving, Dalipi had thought to make a page with announcements, but seeing that there were shortcomings in the market decided to dedicate sales. "I saw that the bullet was not interested. With a new concept of online sales, I decided to shop around with customers. All the shops are presented on our site with their name, without losing their identity ", - says's founder for the magazine" Monitor ".

The performance of the online sales market

Some of the market players report "Monitor" sales growth in the online market. For Ertjan Cabirin, the manager of, selling online clothing, the market will continue to grow for several reasons. First, young people are the ones who buy more, and consequently over time, the market will grow, argues Cabiri for "Monitor".

Rezart Lahi, had the initial idea of ​​introducing a television that deals with the promotion of products for sale. But seeing that the television market was dying and online was gaining momentum, he decided to operate in the online sales market. It shows that 90% of orders come from online sales portals and only 10% from television, therefore lowering television costs to a minimum. Currently, he has four online trading portals, three of them deal with merchandising, Shopping TV, top fashion, and third deals with online merchandising, He claims the online sales performance is on the rise.

"However, I have noticed that in the last six months there has been a stagnation for the oldest companies, mainly because of the new market operators," he adds.
The main market players claim the growth of the online sales sector, which came mainly from the large number of new operators who have begun offering this type of service, which is difficult to measure by official figures due to informality high.

Easy to enter the market, it's hard to stay longer

For Rezart Lahi, the Shopping TV administrator, the online sales market is a saturated marketplace. He says that as far as the online market is concerned, he does not see any major expansion space. "I no longer see market growth, but the number of operators will increase". For him, the increase in operators in the online sales market has led to overcrowding, and the low cost is almost cost, Lahi says.
Even for Dalipin, by, entry into the market was harder than he had originally thought.

One of the pioneers in the online sales sector, Valer Pinderi, administrator of some online sales portals, like Taxi Shop, (over 5000 book titles),,, - finds that the call of an online sales company does not require any major monetary investment. But setting up a company on a sustainable basis requires dedication and professionalism in the service, as it is the latter that makes the difference.
Although new operators are entering the market every day, emerging market operators are emerging from the market.
Ylli Panariti from, shows that the online sales market in Albania, as far as big companies is concerned, is about death. Reason: Competition from informals.

The biggest problem of companies operating in the online sales segment is unfair competition. Even for Ertjan Cabiri of, unregistered online retailers who do not pay any liabilities to the state remain the main problem.
Another concern for the sector that has brought informal sellers is the collapse of the image of Albanian companies operating in this sector.

Outside the market without cash

Almost 90% of online sales are made on cash (on-delivery). All market players claim that if they would only operate with online payments, none of them would survive in the market. The only cases when using online payments are for gifts.
Everyone wants to pay in cash only when it's the gift piece. If I did not set up cash payments, today I would be out of the market, Dalipi said, when asked what kind of payment she applied to online sales.
According to him, the main reason is consumer distrust of online payments. He argues that distrust was created by the irrelevant relationships they had with other operators or informal operators who often received payment for a particular product, did not deliver the merchandise, or have led it not according to the requirements of the client.
Even Ertjan Cabiri, of, says they only operate with cash payments. According to Cabiri, their company has not seen any increase in subscriptions.

Although offering all payment methods, again 90% of the store's taxi customers choose to pay cash.
The use of cash payments, according to Rezart Lahit, reflects a lack of confidence in Albanian operators, as Albanians use cash payments for purchases abroad. Pinderi says that cash is mostly over 90% of transactions, but at the portal, the cash share is almost equal to that online, as well as at the gift portal, cash payments account for almost 70% of the total. In the Shop, payments with credit cards are less than 1%.

The problem with local suppliers

Another problem in this sector is the lack of sustainability with domestic stores. Shopping TV's Lahi indicates that he started operating at home with local suppliers, but the difficulties were many, high costs and lower profits. Now he has entered into contracts with foreign suppliers and receives most of the products from the first supplier. This has helped to get on the market at lower prices.

Dalipi, of, has another concept for online sales, its site serves as intermediary between shops, which appear on the portal with their trade name and customers. Dalipi claims that if stores would be more cautious about marketing their products, his work would be easier. "The fact that shops do not work with their individual sites is not allowing us to expand more. Managing websites, including product selection, photography, pricing policy, takes a lot of time. "

Lower profit margins, higher costs

According to Rezart Lahit, the costs to earn a new customer have increased considerably and this is one of the main items of costs that online operating companies have. Facebook and Instagram companies, for the same amount of money, generate fewer followers and clients for our sites. While due to competition, companies can no longer operate at high prices. Formal and informal competition has increased significantly.

How do you expect the market?

Although there are countless difficulties, the main players in the country are optimistic about online sales in general but pessimistic about the market performance in Albania. Rezart Lahi says that for the next two years there will be no major growth in the sector, arguing that operators have been added and this has led to overcrowding of the market. Most companies operate at almost cost prices.
Rezart Lahi says some operators are emerging out of the market every year and profits have fallen.
Asked about market performance, Valer Pinderi says unfortunately, it is clear that in 2018 the same growth rate will not continue in 2017.

Yet Ertjan Cabiri, of, is somewhat more optimistic. According to him, the online sales market will undoubtedly continue to grow for several reasons. First, young people are the ones who buy more and consequently over time the market will grow. Second, trust in online shopping is on the rise, and this makes people feel safer when making an online order. As can be seen in all developed countries or emerging markets, demand has been growing and Albania has no different dynamics.