eCommerce is not new to the world but it is relatively new to Sri Lanka. There have been the global players of the eCommerce market who have been serving the needs of a few Sri Lankan people, but that was not enough. The need of the people, the vacuum existed in the market and some skilled businessmen made it possible for the eCommerce business to emerge in the country. The local players are still at their beginning stage.
Considering the world market for eCommerce , the Sri Lankan market is pretty small. This is one of the major facts that are in favor of the local players. If it were something like the Indian market with several millions of customers for eCommerce , the local players would have been taken away by the international players. However, the fact is that the Sri Lankan eCommerce market is still considered by many international players.
It is well recognized by the Sri Lankan companies that the future of Sri Lankan eCommerce business is very positive and hopeful. Some people at the higher management levels from these companies think that it is only a tip of the iceberg now. There is much to be experienced in the future.
It is quite true that the market has not been reached by the local players. In fact not even five percent of the market has been reached by all local players combined. Within the reached market, around ten percent is covered by the international players. What this means is that although the international companies are not giving considerable effort to keep targeting the Sri Lankan market, they still have an impact on it. One reason for this trend might be the spreading of Sri Lankans who live all around the world. These people have a worldwide presence so that makes them to order products through internationally known eCommerce businesses to be sent to their friends and family back in Sri Lanka. This in turn gives exposure to the locally residing people who then start continuing.
Sri Lanka is one of the developing countries in Asia. Especially the post conflict conditions have favored businesses to hype in an exponential rate of growth. If you had visited Sri Lanka within the past two years, you could have witnessed new building projects everywhere; specially in the capital city, Colombo.
People are moving from a third world status to a more advanced status. The lifestyles of people are changing dramatically. For a country that was affected by internal conflicts for over half a century, the literacy rate is surprisingly high at 92 percent. This is another important factor that makes eCommerce more than possible. These people are moving towards a more technologically advanced lifestyle. Also the global impact of technology has made it possible for people to carry the entire internet literally in their hands. People can just place an order online from their phone while they are travelling. Someone might not be wealthy enough to own a car in this country but they still place an order while travelling in a public transportation bus.
One of the other major reasons why eCommerce is going to skyrocket in Sri Lanka in the coming years is that the businesses of the country which have developed enough to contribute new products to the local market. There have been many restrictions in the last decade for imports. Now that the country has come out of the internal mess, the international businesses are more than welcome there. There have been many foreign business vendors who have placed their products in the market with quite a few successful business stories.