Mobile usage in Sri Lanka has increased significantly over the past year, thanks to the affordability of smartphones and data packages, but how are Sri Lankans using this new-found connectivity and what does it mean for eCommerce?

Findings from the latest Kantar TNS Connected Life study into global online attitudes and behaviour revealed that despite the rise in connectivity, less than two in five Sri Lankans are accessing the internet every week, leading many to believe that the eCommerce tipping point is still some way off. However, if the rate of mobile take-up is anything to go by, we could be looking at eCommerce becoming popular in the very near future.

Kantar TNS's latest report into eCommerce assesses the current landscape of online shopping in Sri Lanka and the key stages of eCommerce adoption:

  • Access: lack of infrastructure and payment mechanisms are preventing eCommerce from taking off
  • Trust: shoppers have security concerns around payments and personal data, or do not trust eCommerce sites
  • Experience: the online shopping experience is not user friendly, and therefore not preferable to shopping in-store
  • Price / Choice: Shoppers can buy on or offline based on price or variety of choice

Sri Lanka is a nascent market for eCommerce - Access - relative to countries like India, Kenya, Nigeria and Indonesia. Although it may only be early days, what matters is that a notable proportion of the country - the connected Sri Lankans - are ready to engage online today, but only if brands can provide the experience that will convert them to regular eCommerce shoppers.


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