How to start your own eCommerce business in Cambodia is a question I am starting to get asked about more and more.
Ask any of your Cambodian friends what Angkor Wat is, for that matter ask, pretty much most people in the world and they will have the correct answer.
Now, ask your fellow Cambodian, how is the eCommerce industry going on?
They will definitely hesitate to tell you.
The Cambodian eCommerce Market is less developed compared to the other nations in the ASEAN region.
Many obstacles don’t let the eCommerce sector develop…
- Internet infrastructure to the audience,
- Delivery system to credit cards usage,
- Taxes, plus a lot of other factors.
These are all major stumbling blocks in the development of the Cambodia eCommerce industry.
Now, what I want you to do is think from the perspective of an entrepreneur and digital marketer.
Is it a good idea for you to start an eCommerce business in Cambodia now?
It’s a golden opportunity.
Let me tell you why?
eCommerce in Cambodia – Why It’s Profitable Business to Start
- 0.1 eCommerce in Cambodia – Why It’s Profitable Business to Start
- 0.2 The ASEAN Digital Integration Framework in Cambodia
- 1 The eCommerce market in Cambodia is totally unsaturated.
- 2 Top Cambodian eCommerce Entrepreneurs
- 3 What You Can Sell in the Cambodian eCommerce Market?
- 4 Shopify for Cambodian eCommerce Market
- 5 eCommerce Payment Solutions Cambodia
- 6 Best Marketing Platforms for Your Cambodian eCommerce Store
Over 12 million Cambodian’s now have access to the internet on a regular basis, and 76% percent (of the total population) use 3G technology.
A large proportion of Cambodian people use the internet on their smartphones, which is a huge opportunity for eCommerce business owners.
“90 percent of the Cambodian population will be digitally active on the internet by 2020”.
The Khmer eCommerce market has raised not only its standards but the whole digital game in the last 5 years.
The ASEAN Digital Integration Framework in Cambodia
Well, the credit for such advancement goes to its efforts that resulted in building technology (a big amount helped by the ASEAN digital integration framework) and impeccable internet connectivity.
The number of online shopping websites is growing day by day, and with the ease of use of eCommerce platforms to use, like Shopify, it is easy to see why the entrepreneurial Cambodians are set to take the ASEAN digital region by storm.
Many laws that will make eCommerce a strong viable business for people of Cambodia have already been passed, partnerships with huge corporations have been formed, and now it is time for Cambodians to start setting up their first eCommerce business.
Find the quick easy way to get your first eCommerce Store up and running in super-quick time.
In 2017, Cambodia and China together signed a memorandum of understanding to support the eCommerce development of Cambodia.
It’s mentioned in the agreement that Cambodia will step up its game of e-commerce regarding joint research, personal training, capacity building, and communication policy.
This is a major part of the ASEAN digital integration framework.
This sets out how to improve the following:
- Digital connectivity and affordable access to the internet
- Financial ecosystem – making paying easier, nationally and overseas
- Commerce and trade – making it easier to trade across borders
- Business ecosystem
- Workforce transformation – This is a huge element and what we focus on here at eCommerce ASEAN
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Consumers, merchants, and the government, all three are progressively appearing on the Cambodian eCommerce market.
And you know what?
You need to get involved, now!
The eCommerce market in Cambodia is totally unsaturated.
And It will be for a while.
You need to get into this opportunity now.
Cost Of eCommerce in Cambodia
As Cambodia has just started with eCommerce, there are not many local platforms or website providers.
The ones here are super expensive, and/or lack the functionality that international players like Shopify Cambodia can provide.
My eCommerce Platform Recommendation
You need to invest here:
|SaaS eCommerce Platform (Shopify is best)||$5-$300|
|A Logo||$5 or even for free|
|Time||As much as you can commit to research, analysis, and scaling|
Apart from these fixed costs, you will have to invest in ads, or use your time to advertise in Facebook groups and Instagram.
Facebook Ads in Cambodia
Facebook Ads in Cambodia have taken off over the last few years…
If used properly they have the ability to create a huge ROI.
But most who use them doný understand the basics and end up losing more than they make, unfortunately.
Instagram Ads in Cambodia is a great place to be right now.
Especially in the Instagram Stories which hold (for now) a very inexpensive cost.
If used correctly, understanding exactly how to convert your viewers into buyers, then a real goldmine.
As for what to sell:
Again, my recommendation is to try out dropshipping during the initial stages of yoru ecommerce store development.
You can reallocate the inventory money somewhere else in the business.
Now, let me tell you about those entrepreneurs who have already jumped in the market before you.
Top Cambodian eCommerce Entrepreneurs
• Ecamshopping (Lov Chhay Heng)
Ecamshopping was established in 2012 as a Cambodian market.
It provides a wide range of trending clothes, bags, and other stylish accessories. Most of the Ecamshopping products are offered with price warranty.
If a customer isn’t satisfied, the company has no problem to take it back without any charges, which is pretty good.
This Cambodian eCommerce website has made a young boy (Lov Chhay Heng) win the youngest entrepreneur award in Cambodia.
• Roserb (Borey Chum) – Now Closed
When it came to Roserb, the first thing that popped up in Cambodian’s mind was the beauty niche.
It provided a one-stop solution for fashionable products, cosmetics, and accessories seekers.
I was quite a cool site, mobile compatible at the time, and no other eCommerce platform in Cambodia was compatible with mobiles the way Roserb was.
What You Can Sell in the Cambodian eCommerce Market?
There is an unlimited list of items that you can sell on the internet. A quick search on Aliexpress can open up your mind on the vast array of products available.
But, you must choose the right niche market to be able to do this…
Your niche is your topic. What’s your favorite product?
I recommend you to sell something that is not only profitable but also suits your passion.
If your passion is Prahok, then sell it, talk about it, build up a community of people who love it and sell, sell, sell.
If you love to wear trendy clothes…
Then the fashion niche can be an excellent option for you because top sites like Little Fashion and Ecamshopping make a killing by selling clothes.
But, here is the trick:
If you want to find that Cambodian e-commerce goldmine, then you will have to do research.
This is one of the hidden tricks that most of the business people and marketers keep to themselves.
Niche Research For eCommerce Stores in Cambodia
Reach out to people and solve their problem in the way that no one else does.
Once you start solving these issues, you will find that you have very little competition in the Cambodian e-commerce market.
As Cambodia is still a developing nation…
Very few people have actually started to make a living out of ecommerce, you can build your brand now, and jump massively ahead of any competition that will appear over the coming few years.
Get in now!
Shopify for Cambodian eCommerce Market
You can start out with any e-commerce platform, but Shopify is the one that I recommend.
Most internet marketers use it because of how simple it is to use.
Get your free ebook on how to set up your first ecommerce store here, within a matter of minutes.
Shopify has alone given power to 900,000 online stores and has earned revenue of 100 billion in 13 years.
A basic Shopify plan costs $29/month.
It is so well priced compared to the other platforms and offers functionality that most don’t even with their expensive plan.
What I like the most about Shopify is its payment gateway integration. You can integrate up to 70 payment gateways into the system.
Cambodia is a little bit different.
eCommerce Payment Solutions Cambodia
Payment gateways haven’t yet developed so much here.
There are solutions, and people are investing in the development of gateways, wallets, and integrations with banks to help with this issue.
One such company that is working hard on enabling payments online in Cambodia is iPay88.
A Malaysian company with offices here in Phnom Penh.
One thing that we know about Cambodia is that people have yet to build up their trust of using their credit cards online and prefer to purchase online and pay on delivery.
This has been beautifully executed by Little Fashion over the years and is still relevant today in 2019.
And Shopify offer this element in all of their store memberships.
So, having a Shopify membership may help you to deal with upcoming transactions related obstacles.
Setting Up Payment Options for Cambodian eCommerce Store
International payment gateways such as PayPal, Stripe, WorldPay, 2Checkout, and Authorize.net aren’t much help in Cambodia.
You can use payment gateways such as:
Pi Pay (Now sold to Smart)
- This platform was launched in 2017 and has emerged a lot in recent years.
- It has partnered up with Alibaba and Alipay. After six months of its launch date, it achieved almost 168K app downloads.
- The app has transferred more than $27 million. You can cash out 250 USD at the rate of 30 riel.
ABA Pay Way
- ABA Pay Way has developed a fantastic mobile app for those customers who love to pay through their mobile phone.
- There’s no problem in integrating this app into your website to your online store in order to accept credit cards.
- Transaction fees of this gateway depend on the payment method. However, you do get charged around 3-3.5 %.
It’s one of the 1st and largest banks in Cambodia. The payment gateway system of the bank is based on the MIGS (MasterCard Internet Gateway Service).
There’re no custom coding needs, you can integrate this payment gateway into your eCommerce store with any MIGS plugin.
There are so many new online shoppers in Cambodia who are still not comfortable to pay online.
You can provide cash on delivery option for such type of customers. All you need is to contact courier services that provide COD facility. You can try out Joonaak Delivery or any other similar services.
Best Marketing Platforms for Your Cambodian eCommerce Store
In 2019, the total population of the Khmer nation is 16.49 million.
There are also about half of that population as Facebook users, with Instagram being used a lot now also (perfect for eCommerce).
Almost 94% of Cambodian people use Google to search for information. So according to analysis, Facebook and Google both are your best bet.
You can promote your products through Facebook ads, Google Ads, and Search Engine Optimization. Oh, I love these…
If you can get a good foundation on how to do these correctly, you will never have an issue with being able to make money and become a laptop millionaire.
In the beginning of the Cambodian eCommerce market, you have a great chance to rank your website all the way up on the search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.
This is done by writing great articles, cool product descriptions and understanding what exactly people are searching for.
Also, as the Cambodian language develops on the internet, you will find that more and more websites start appearing in your native language.
This, in my opinion, is really cool, as no one is doing Khmer Search Engine Optimization properly, apart from a man called Ciaran Doyle, who has lived in Cambodia for about 8 years or so.
He has been at the forefront of optimizing some of the best websites in Cambodia, creating digital strategy for many business and media agencies and understanding how to use Khmer Font and cultural differences in the optimization process.
Building an eCommerce Brand in Cambodia
If you want to build a brand for your e-commerce business in Cambodia then you have to get smart with your marketing.
You will have to use things like Facebook Ads and their wonderful Pixel.
From my experience, these are not being used correctly in Cambodia, and understanding these is a great way to help you dominate the visibility aspect of the market.
So many business owners, entrepreneurs, and marketers here in Cambodia, even the ones working in top agencies haven’t even explored retargeting, A/B testing, AI targeting, and many other marketing features.
In addition, most of the popular eCommerce stores in Cambodia don’t have a defined niche.
And, niche is where it is at.
Make sure you will have one, and dominate that niche and move onto the next one.
Now, we have two things to break through and dominate the Cambodian eCommerce market:
Modern marketing methods and niche exploration.
Download our free ebook now, to help you get your first eCommerce store up and running in super-quick time.