Published 08, Mar 2024

Emerging Trend of Ecommerce in Nepal

Renowned for its majestic peaks and cultural treasures passed through the ages, Nepal is seeing a transformation unfold not just among the lofty summits, but also in the daily interactions of its connected populace.

Over the past twenty years, online commerce has evolved from tentative steps to significantly impacting the lives of all Nepalis in their buying, selling, and sense of community.

Filled with opportunities and natural questions that come with growth, e-commerce here serves as a supportive force for the country’s progress.

This article delves deep into this exciting trajectory, armed with insightful statistics, to paint a vivid picture of Nepal’s e-commerce journey.

What Exactly is E-commerce?

E-commerce is a wonderful blend of business and community in the online world. It opens up opportunities for countless exchanges, from large-scale marketplaces to individual craftspeople hoping to connect with people globally. 

Whether exploring bustling online markets or directly supporting talented creators, digital platforms offer endless possibilities without the limitations of distance. From everyday items to unique creations, everything can be found at our fingertips.

Although there are many different ways to engage in e-commerce, the common theme is Social Media. Behind every colorful website are real people forming connections across borders through each interaction. Through careful design and engineering, e-commerce enables livelihoods to thrive worldwide.

Here are some key statistics highlighting the global growth and impact of e-commerce:

Global E-commerce Market:

  • The expanding global online market reveals significant growth. International trade currently amounts to $5.2 trillion annually and is expected to exceed $8 trillion by the middle of the next decade, according to data from Statista..
  • The United States is brightly shining in e-commerce with an annual revenue soon approaching $1 trillion, anticipated to surpass $1.38 trillion by 2025. 
  • China remains the world’s largest e-commerce market, with a current value exceeding $3 trillion.

Mobile E-commerce Boom:

  • Mobile transactions are another marvel, reaching nearly $416 billion this year and projected to exceed $710 billion in the near future. 
  • The convenience of handheld devices allows individuals to explore new and unexpected joys since the early days of internet access.

Other E-commerce Highlights:

  • The number of online shoppers is expected to reach 2.77 billion by 2025, according to data from Hostinger.
  • The Electronics industry led the e-commerce market in 2023 with sales of $837.2 billion.
  • Social media is playing an increasingly important role in influencing online shopping decisions.

E-commerce in Nepal

The beginning of the 21st century witnessed initial forays into unexplored digital territory, with limited connectivity and tools. By 2010, only a mere 7.5% of people had embraced the internet fully while others remained within familiar surroundings. 

The internet penetration of Nepal can be seen more clearly through the table below:

Year Number of People in Nepal with Internet Access
2012 2.43M
2013 3.01M
2014 3.58M
2015 4.16M
2016 4.77M
2017 7.11M
2018 9.47M
2019 9.64M
2020 10.1M
2021 10.7M
2022 11.5M
2023 15.85M

The mid-2010s saw a surge in online participation due to affordable phone access, drawing in curious individuals eager to explore this new domain. By 2019, 39% of the population had embraced the benefits of the internet.

Unexpectedly, when people sought refuge indoors during periods of the COVID-19 pandemic, Nepal’s resourceful spirit found solace in online platforms that catered to emerging needs.

This transition to digital channels brought e-commerce into focus, drawing in fresh participants and funding. By 2022, a remarkable 45% of Nepalis had access to the internet, primarily through mobile devices. 

This equates to a substantial potential of 16 million e-commerce users, a figure forecasted to grow to 25 million by 2025.

Current Scenario of E-commerce in Nepal

Nepal’s online marketplace is now showcasing a diverse range of products, reflecting the care and solidarity within its community. 

  • Market Size: The industry has experienced significant growth, with an estimated value of 100 million rupees that continues to increase by over 100% annually, indicating a potential worth of one billion rupees in the near future.
  • Category Expansion:  What initially started with electronic goods and clothing has expanded to encompass various items– from traditional household necessities to agricultural supplies for rural communities. It also encompasses health and wellness products as well as artistic creations that inspire creativity.
  • Digital Payment Evolution: Furthermore, digital currency has contributed to fostering trust in transactions where physical contact was once highly valued.
  • Mobile Dominance: A large number of people are accessing these offerings through their smartphones, highlighting the pivotal role played by technology in uncovering unexplored talents both in urban areas and remote regions. 

Embracing these opportunities allows distant aspirations to flourish while recognizing technology’s ability to empower progress with compassion while honoring complex relationships intrinsic within life itself.

By nurturing mutual understanding, Nepal’s digital marketplace can strengthen connections across generations and adapt beloved customs with kindness through e-commerce.

Challenges of E-commerce in Nepal

While the future is certainly promising, it is important to remember that this journey is not without its challenges:

Convincing the Customers to Trust Them:

Most e-commerce businesses in Nepal encounter the significant challenge of building trust with their audience. 

This can be influenced by various factors, including negative initial experiences and the preference of Nepali consumers to physically inspect and haggle over goods before making a purchase. 

While online shopping is common in Western countries, it has yet to gain widespread acceptance in Nepal due to limited professional service offerings.

Large Number of Competitors:

The rise in competition doesn’t guarantee a proportional increase in the quality of products and services. 

Numerous startups are struggling due to intensifying competition, as many companies find it challenging to establish clear goals. 

With numerous e-commerce platforms offering a wide array of products, the primary focus becomes price competitiveness, making it difficult for businesses to differentiate themselves in the market.

Delivery In Nepal is Difficult:

E-commerce’s primary goal is to ensure that products are delivered to customers’ doorsteps. In Nepal, the complex and incomplete address system hinders this objective. 

To work around this challenge, many e-commerce companies resort to calling customers during delivery and arranging meetups at known locations. 

This issue poses a significant challenge not only for the e-commerce sector in Nepal but also for various other industries.

Unreliable Payment Options:

This presents a significant challenge, but it’s also an issue that has shown considerable improvement. 

Perhaps in the near future, we will have a dependable and convenient method for conducting secure online transactions. 

While Nepal already offers digital payment options like eSewa and Khalti, cash on delivery remains the favored choice. The use of digital wallets is still not widely embraced by consumers.

Digital Literacy Divide:

Not all individuals in Nepal, particularly in rural regions, have the essential expertise and understanding to efficiently use online platforms. 

Even though there is still much work to be completed and many details to be resolved, the outlook for e-commerce in Nepal remains promising. While the challenges are significant, the opportunities are boundless.

Opportunities for E-commerce in Nepal

While challenges exist, the opportunities presented by the rise of e-commerce in Nepal are vast and exciting:

  • Reaching the Unreached: Nepal’s varied landscape frequently presents obstacles. E-commerce helps overcome these challenges by linking isolated areas to a greater variety of goods and services. Picture supplying essential items and distinctive local art directly to individuals who might not otherwise have such opportunities, promoting inclusivity and economic development.
  • Empowering Entrepreneurs: Local companies, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises, frequently face challenges in expanding their reach. E-commerce platforms help to create fairness, enabling them to display their merchandise to a national or even international clientele. Just picture a local jewelry maker in Kathmandu connecting with customers across the globe or a farmer from a rural area selling organic goods directly to urban residents. The opportunities are limitless.
  • Unlocking Financial Inclusion: Digital transactions, widely used in online business, promote financial access. Previously underserved populations now have the opportunity to engage in the digital economy, improving their quality of life and supporting Nepal’s economic growth.
  • Going Global: E-commerce eliminates geographic constraints, enabling businesses in Nepal to access the international market. Beautiful hand-woven rugs from the Terai can be now sold worldwide introducing the distinct flavors of Himalayan spices to a worldwide audience.
  • Emerging Trends: Exciting developments such as hyperlocal deliveries, social commerce using platforms like Facebook and Instagram, and the growth of m-commerce (mobile commerce) driven by Nepal’s smartphone-savvy population are worth monitoring. These advancements offer special chances for businesses to engage with customers in new and creative ways.


Nepal’s online marketplace has transformed from a hesitant newcomer to a lively and bustling hub. Communities are now connected through the internet, allowing for vibrant economic activity and social interaction. 

This evolution has bridged gaps in commerce, enabled local businesses to thrive, and fostered trust through secure transactions.

While some challenges remain, the determined youth and technological embrace of the people have sparked optimism. 

Nepal’s digital journey is an inspiring example of how innovation, connection, and compassion can shape communities on a global scale. Keep watching as this story of growth continues to unfold.