Azerbaijan flag Azerbaijan: Buying and Selling

E-commerce in Azerbaijan

E-commerce

Internet access
As of December 2017, there were 9.9 million people in Azerbaijan, out of which almost 8 million were internet users, placing the penetration rate at 80.6%. Poor telecom infrastructure, along with low information and communication technology literacy, expensive consumer equipment, and high tariffs for satellite connections remain key obstacles to ensuring greater internet access across the country. Internet remains expensive for most of the population, with Azerbaijan lagging behind its neighbours on indicators such as Internet speed and affordability. In early 2017, the Ministry of Communications followed through with a plan to roll out more free wi-fi spots in public areas around central locations in Baku. Only two operators, AzerTelecom and Delta Telecom, are licensed to connect international IP traffic. Azercell is the leading mobile service provider. In the last few years, internet freedom has declined in the country after the Government introduced new laws empowering authorities to block content in a broad range of circumstances. Many digital journalists and social media users faced legal sanctions for their activities online. According to Freedom House, Internet in Azerbaijan is currently considered "Partly Free".  As of September 2018, the most popular search engines in the country by market share were Google (92.3%), Yahoo! (2.51%), Bing (2.28%), Baidu (0.85%), YANDEX RU (0.61%), and DuckDuckGo (0.33%). As for browsers, the most popular ones were Chrome (68.69%), Opera (8.82%), Safari (7.39%), Samsung Internet (7.26%), Android (2.94%), and Yandex Browser (1.3%).
E-commerce market
E-commerce has been rapidly developing during the last few years. According to the Ministry of Transport, Communications and High Technology, retail e-commerce turnover in 2017 amounted to USD 27 million, growing by 180% compared to 2016. The country ranks 68th in the B2C ecommerce index of the UNCTAD. The growing number of ATMs has increased the level of e-commerce to the market, and some B2B websites have also appeared. The number of credit and debit card transactions is rising, and many hotels, restaurants, supermarkets and mid-range shops increasingly accept credit and debit card payments. Many shippers, however, are reluctant to send goods without pre-payment, and e-commerce is limited by a lack of clear and effective legislation, as well as the prevalence of the shadow economy. One of the key issues the government is working on is the development of Internet-banking, mobile banking and popularization of non-cash payments, which should further boost e-commerce development. The Ministry of Taxes has pushed retail business to install Point of Sale (POS) devices, but given that the economy is still cash-based, many small retail business have not utilized them. Some of the most popular e-commerce websites in Azerbaijan include elan.az, konttakt.az and hepsiburada.com. Cross-border e-commerce is still developing. The vast majority of items bought from foreign websites consist of mobile phones and computer parts. According to The State Customs Committee, the government is currently working on ensuring effective legal e-commerce regulation, preparing new bills. The main focus of the e-commerce development plan are statistics, business-customs cooperation and capacity-building in developing new data collection technologies.

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Latest Update: November 2022

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