Economy, Sci & Tech

eCommerce Expanding Gradually

Auto & Tech Desk
eCommerce Expanding Gradually
eCommerce Expanding Gradually

Iran's relatively new e-commerce industry is gradually gaining traction as more e-retailers come online. In no more than two years, Hamechiiz, an online store specializing in apparel and design, has carved out its own market share.

With a background in visual communication, business management, and graphic design, brothers Atatash and Mehrtash Bathaie first conceived the idea and piloted their website in 2013.

As online businesses started to grow in Iran the duo found an opening in the market and seized the opportunity to target a hip, trendy, and fashion savvy lifestyle, mostly prevalent among the 15 to 35 age group, Atatash explained in an interview with the Financial Tribune.

Hamechiiz (literally: everything, in Persian) publicly launched in 2014 with a team of three and has since "organically" grown. Advertising is done mainly through social media websites, primarily, Instagram. Click on ads, however, may be the next step in the company's advertising.

Alongside the main focus of bringing upcoming global brands to the young generation in Iran, the Tribune asked the e-retailer what gave his business its unique essence and creative touch.

"The website isn’t just about importing goods; one of our major aims has been to set higher standards in the realm of design. There is vast untapped talent in Iran," Atatash proclaimed, "thus we try to take on creative Iranian designers as well."

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Local designers Saba Saemi and Sepanta Ghassemkhani have both been featured on the website and are in particularly high demand. The young designers both specialize in hand-made art and crafts.

While acknowledging the fact that there exist certain websites that try to get in the game, Atatash said he believed that their company does not have "any direct competitors as of yet. Other e-commerce websites may offer similar services, but the brands Hamechiiz offers are exclusive.

The director added that demand has steadily grown for Hamechiiz and the success of the company can primarily be attributed to customer satisfaction. "The photos and captions customers post on Instagram voicing their appreciation is a testimonial to our success."

Although the founders of Hamechiiz have considered releasing a mobile app, it seems that the time is still not ripe. "What's more important for now is to keep customers coming back to the website," which means a mobile app will not be released until a certain growth target has been attained.

Nevertheless, the now 12-member team envisions the future as "very bright" with a surprise in-store, literally.

Surprising as it may seem, the company will soon open a physical store in Tehran.

Old habits die hard and customers are only now warming up to the idea of online sales. "They still prefer to tangibly evaluate goods' quality prior to purchase" he said, adding "therefore, despite the initial focus on e-sales, this seemed like the right move for the company at this point."

While many people in the country are excited about Iran's commercial future, the founders of Hamechiiz, see it from another angle. "The lifting of sanctions may improve some aspects of business, but they will not result in a boom for e-commerce. Online sales should expect more of a gradual growth than a sudden boom."