Iran registers 75% rise in e-commerce transactions

By bne IntelliNews November 13, 2023

The total value of electronic commerce transactions in Iran experienced a notable 75% surge, reaching IRR13,400 trillion ($25.7bn) during the initial half of the current Iranian year (March 21-September 22, 2023), as reported by Donya-e Eqtesad on November 13. 

Amin Kolahdouzan, the head of the Iran Centre for e-Commerce Development (ICeCD), disclosed that e-commerce transactions also saw a 28% year-on-year increase in volume.

The growing inclination of Iranians toward online purchases has been evident over the past five years, with consistent upward trends in both the number and collective value of e-commerce transactions. However, this growth experienced a temporary slowdown in the last Iranian year (March 2022-23), marked by a 17% decline in the number of transactions.

Observers attribute this decline primarily to the government's decision to block social media apps, which serve as the primary complementary sales channel for online shops. According to ICeCD’s annual report, social media apps held a 41% share in the country's e-commerce deals, with Instagram leading the platforms, accounting for 55% of total sales— a figure that stood at 84% the previous year.

While the 75% growth in H1 is calculated based on the nominal value of transactions, it still surpasses the growth of inflation over the reviewed six months (estimated around 20-25%).

The ICeCD, responsible for licensing online shops in Iran, emphasizes the mandatory requirement for Iranian websites to obtain the online trust logo, known as e-Namad, for accepting online payments. According to the ICeCD website, more than 39,000 online shops acquired the certificate during the first half of the year, indicating a 25% growth compared to the same period last year.