Pristina, September 17, 2021 – Whilst the e-commerce industry faces a lot of challenges pertaining to customer service, sales, and the legal climate, it is an ever-growing industry in Kosovo with a lot of potentials to become the new normal of sales. This was said during the roundtable discussion on E-commerce trends in Kosovo from the outbreak of COVID19 and on and the readiness of businesses for the 4th Quarter sales organized by the American Chamber of Commerce in Kosovo.
Valon Canhasi from the company Hallakate began the discussion by stating that E-commerce is the future. Canhasi continued that buying online is slowly becoming the new normal with online sales doubling very quickly. According to Canhasi e-commerce has thrived in the last years in Kosovo and has created a healthy competition in the industry which is continuously growing.
Mergim Cahani from Gjirafa50 agreed that COVID19 has affected most businesses but that businesses have tried to adapt nonetheless to the difficult situation. He added that resources had to be stretched quite a bit during the pandemic, however it is something that could be overcome. With regard to the 4th quarter sales, Cahani stated that preparation for these sales is incredibly tricky, especially during Black Friday. There are challenges such as the significant increase in demand paired with stock and labor availability, this as well as transaction processing problems due to the high demand are challenges which a business cannot prepare for beforehand. However, Gjirafa50 has been working continuously to prepare for the 4th quarter sales this year.
Genta Brestovci from EBAA declared that EBAA did not face the heightened concerns during the COVID19 pandemic due to their cooperation with ELKOS which enabled them to continue business almost as normal. Trends observed during the pandemic have been the increasing card payments and purchasing trends which shifted from luxuries to necessities such as food and hygiene products, said Brestovci.
Ideal Shala from the company Egjeta raised that there were a lot of challenges during the pandemic COVID19 when it came to e-commerce and online sales, especially being a new company in the industry. He held that success is not immediate in e-commerce as one of the biggest challenges businesses face is the lack of liquidity. Another problem that has been noted is the hesitation of importers and retailers to cooperate with e-commerce as it is seen as a great risk, heightened by the COVID19 pandemic.
Urim Vokshi Lawyer at Vokshi & Lata Lawfirm offered his legal opinion on the legal climate surrounding e-commerce in Kosovo. He raised his concern over the collision of legislation surrounding e-commerce and the non-compliance of various legislations in the industry. He stated that laws and legislations come from the needs of citizens, and although there are laws on e-commerce the aforementioned challenges make it difficult for businesses to implement them. He continued by saying that it is crucial that laws on e-commerce protect customers from fraudulent business practices and vice-versa.