Ecommerce industry in Sri Lanka has created a boom in the country's economy. The country's economy is growing at an impressive rate, especially in the field of information technology and tourism. In response to this, the government has made many developmental moves to improve infrastructure, boost nationalization and increase the country's capability in international markets. With these efforts, the Sri Lankan e-commerce market will continue to grow and take off. < /p>
The evolution of the internet has brought about some remarkable changes in the field of ecommerce in Sri Lanka. In 2022, Sri Lanka was one of the first countries to introduce a free e-commerce platform to the world. Since then, it has grown rapidly and is now one of the leading countries in the world when it comes to ecommerce. Over the last few years, Sri Lanka has experienced rapid growth in terms of its ecommerce business. It has attracted international investment in terms of setting up of electronic data processing and web development.
Sri Lanka had an average internet user population of around 6.5 million as of July last year, about 25% of the total population. Despite being a rapidly developing country, the internet industry has still been getting much-needed funding over the past decade. In this context, the government has taken major steps to monetize the available resources, infusing greater capital investment in the sector, opening several international ecommerce portals on various popular search engines, and attracting internet giants like Google and Yahoo to host their Sri Lankan servers. Although the Sri Lankan government has also taken essential steps to improve the delivery of ecommerce solutions, they have failed to make much impact as the local players in the market lag behind significantly.
Even though the Sri Lankan government is taking vital measures to monetize the available resources in the market, there are still chances for the country to make more progress. In addition, Sri Lanka's weak economy and poor infrastructure hinder the government in releasing the capital investment required in the sphere of commerce. As a result, there is still no guarantee that ecommerce will really take off in Sri Lanka. However, with the right kind of strategies implemented by the authorities and sustained perseverance from the private players in the market, Sri Lanka is likely to see a significant improvement in the near future. Besides, there are several initiatives taken by the Sri Lankan government and civil society to improve the conditions of its ecommerce sector, including the recent banning of the sale of alcohol within two hours of closing, restricting alcohol advertising, and encouraging online payment.
One of the key developments has been the establishment of an Information Technology Promotion Board, or IITB. This board works to promote and improve the Sri Lanka information technology sector. It also develops educational programs for professionals, public administrators, students, and business owners to improve management skills. These educational programs also help improve the country's ability to develop digital technologies.
The government has also set up several national e-commerce frameworks to promote competition and create more consumer demand. For instance, the Information Technology Authority regulates all electronic and data communication businesses, such as telecommunication companies and internet service providers. The Sri Lankan Electronic Commerce Agency regulates all electronic and data-commerce activities in the country. The Communication and Information Technology Regulatory Agency regulate all aspects of the information technology sector of the country. Finally, the Controller of Customs and Border Protection manages all customs and border protection activities.
Another notable initiative taken by the Sri Lanka government is encouraging e-commerce players to set up shop in strategic areas throughout the country. For instance, the Government of Sri Lanka has issued a strategic plan to promote e-commerce presence in rural communities. Additionally, the government is encouraging state-owned enterprises and other large businesses to establish e-commerce presence in the agricultural sector. In this way, not only do these businesses get a wider customer base, they also create jobs in the agricultural sector, thereby supporting the Sri Lankan economy.
Although the Sri Lanka e-commerce industry has shown promising growth and is anticipated to continue to do so in the future, the country still faces several hurdles that it has to address on its way to becoming a developed online market. It is important for the country to address the problems of disparity in internet access. Currently, there are over 1.4 million broadband users in the country, which makes accessing the World Wide Web through any source a challenge. Sri Lanka is expected to improve its internet availability in the near future.
Another important challenge facing the e-commerce market in Sri Lanka is the lack of adequate infrastructure and trained manpower to support the growing online market. There are some states that still lack basic communication facilities and electricity among other essential amenities, which hinder the accessibility of the online market for buyers. However, this should not deter businesses from expanding their operations as many people in the rural regions still have access to telephones and electricity and also have a regular need of items like food and fuel for daily consumption.
The lack of adequate infrastructure also restricts electronic and communication products from being imported into the country, but this should not deter businesses from selling their goods online. There are several distributors in the country that allow the suppliers to sell their products at higher prices, which encourages local production rather than importing products from foreign producers. This aspect also encourages consumers to patronize local products and Services, thereby increasing the demand for the Sri Lankan product and Services. Moreover, there are several online directory services available which provide details on all the electronic and communication equipment manufacturers based in Sri Lanka.
Another challenge faced by the e-commerce industry in Sri Lanka is the slow process speed of orders. E-Commerce websites usually incur higher costs for delivery and processing, but if these costs are reduced to a certain level, then this can boost the revenue of an e-commerce website significantly. Rapid technological advancements have also facilitated the process of buying and selling. Payments can be made using Credit Cards or PayPal. There are several other methods such as Money Transfer, Debit Cards and Local Area Networking (LAN) that have become popular in the recent years.
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