By Nigar Orujova
The total volume of retail electronic commerce has doubled in Azerbaijan.
The e-commerce market was worth roughly 8.2 million manat (about $7.8 million) in Azerbaijan in January-August 2015, the Azerbaijan State Statistics Committee reported on September 15.
In January-August 2015, 92.7 percent of goods were acquired by legal entities and 7.3 percent by individuals in Azerbaijan.
Non-food products accounted for some 96.5 percent of the market turnover of e-commerce.
Total retail sales in Azerbaijan amounted to 15.9 billion manat in January-August.
Compared with the same period of 2014, sales of consumer goods in the country increased by 11.3 percent during this period. At the same time, 49.9 percent were accounted for by food products.
While e-commerce continues to grow in Azerbaijan, the country has recently offered to reduce the maximum threshold for duty-free e-commerce.
Today, goods imported through international postal traffic or transport and courier services that do not exceed a value equivalent of $1,000 per individual for 30 days are exempt from customs duties.
Last year, the volume of e-commerce in the Azerbaijani market increased by 2.4 times and amounted to 6.4 million manat ($6.1 million).
Today, Azerbaijan is only just finishing the first phase of e-commerce implementation with major pioneer merchants offering at least some products and services online.
In the second phase, an increase in the number of complex e-commerce solutions will likely be made available, including such services as online ticketing, food ordering, etc.
The third phase presupposes these complex services will become expected by society. Consumers will start demanding that a company offers its product or service online. In turn, merchants will expand their offerings and improve already existing services.
At the final stage, it is expected that e-commerce will form a sizeable percentage of the country’s economy.
At such a pace, e-commerce will become one of the most important trends in the Azerbaijani economy in the next few years.
Nigar Orujova is AzerNews’s staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @o_nigar
Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz