What's stopping internet shopping taking off in Cyprus?

What's Stopping Internet Shopping Taking Off in Cyprus?

There are a number of barriers to selling on the internet in Cyprus. They’re all surmountable, but they all need a clear plan to overcome.

Here's our summary of what they are.

  • Domain names – there needs to be ready availability of .com.cy domain names. Whilst a .com is probably OK, a .co.uk probably isn’t. Cyprus is proud of its identity and the use of a .com.cy reinforces the fact shoppers are dealing with a Cypriot business.
  • Supply chain – a warehousing facility to store and package goods for shipment and deal with returns. Often handles invoicing and stock control on behalf of web businesses. Will handle import of products and customs clearance where appropriate.
  • Sellers – there need to be entrepreneurs who understand how to sell on the web and manage websites that do it well. Selling on the web is about visibility and astounding customer service. That doesn’t sit well with Cypriot culture of bartering over the price and buying from somebody you know.
  • Broadband availability and uptake – a good internet site demands broadband speeds to be useable. Currently Cyprus lags both broadband availability and uptake in comparison with the rest of Europe.
  • Credit card payment – Cyprus banks charge high commissions to process web merchant accounts and Paypal is just getting started in Cyprus. There’s also a cultural issue in that Cyprus is a cash economy. Whilst acceptance of credit card payments is almost universal, the preferred payment method is cash.
  • Logistics – there needs to be fast reliable trackable delivery services to deliver goods and collect returns. You can’t deliver a fridge to a PO Box number. Cyprus lags in the availability and cost of guaranteed next day delivery services.

There’s another big one of course – and that’s raising the money to start an internet business in Cyprus in the first place. But that’s beyond the scope of this article.

Read more about: