Building trust is the key to e-commerce development in Albania
TIRANA (Albania), September 24 (SeeNews) – Building confidence in the nascent e-commerce market in Albania remains the main challenge for the development of the sector, Valer Pinderi, director and shareholder of local company Aladini Trade Partner, told SeeNews .
Large brick-and-mortar retail companies don’t tend to invest in e-commerce even though they believe it is the future, Pinderi told SeeNews in a recent interview.
These companies are still reluctant to make long-term investments in e-commerce and do not commit to building confidence in this relatively new sector of the Albanian economy, Pinderi added.
âI think people will buy online if we provide them with the right service and the right content,â he continued, noting that the success of e-commerce was shown during the pandemic when many people and businesses turned their attention to online services. in order to avoid physical contact.
According to Pinderi, the high informality of the e-commerce sector in Albania is one of the main obstacles in gaining the trust of customers. Some 70% of the approximately 3,000 online merchants operating in Albania remain outside regulatory systems, which represents a serious risk for the future development of e-commerce in the country, Pinderi said.
Pinderi said the government should take a more active role in implementing the right policies to promote the growth of e-commerce businesses and thereby recognize their potential in the economy and in creating new jobs.
For example, a state-supported program for bank loan guarantees can help further develop the sector, Pinderi said.
âCurrently, I employ over 40 people. If I have a loan backed by a government guarantee, I can invest in improving service and building trust among customers, which would lead to increased sales and increased employment.
Pinderi said that Aladini Trade Partner has a very ambitious plan to expand into Southeast Europe, starting with the Kosovo market, followed by North Macedonia, Turkey and Italy. âNext year we will focus on Kosovo and start testing the market to understand what kind of process we need to put in place for our future strategy. We plan to become a regional e-commerce company that manufactures products in Turkey and sells them in the region and elsewhere in Europe.
The company currently operates five online platforms – Aladini, Bukuniste, Beba, Ide Dhuratash and Sekreti dedicated to a wide range of products. Aladini Trade Partner plans to add a sixth platform focused on online food deliveries.
âIn the future, we also plan to offer e-commerce marketing services in Albania following the lead of the US company Groupon,â Pinderi said, adding that the company intends to expand its operations. in Albania by adding a team specializing in content creation. , digital marketing and promotion.
Pinderi founded the company under the name Nettrade in 2012. In 2018 the Albanian investment group Balfin acquired a majority stake and invested 1 million euros by 2020 in the restructuring of the company which was until there known for its Dyqan Taxi e-commerce platform. After the departure of the Balfin group in 2020, the company was opened to new investors and changed its name to Aladini Trade Partner the same year, Pinderi said.
The main shareholder of Aladini Trade Partner is local businessman Spiro Naci with 32% stake, followed by Pinderi with 20%, Julian Lesi with 14.5% and Gerti Boshnjaku with 5%. Up to 25% of the shares are open to new investors while the rest is controlled by a number of minority shareholders, Pinderi noted.
The company inspired by the Amazon business model has achieved an average annual turnover of 1.7 million euros over the past three years in the highly fragmented e-commerce market of Albania, with an estimated value to 85 million euros ($ 99.6 million), Pinderi said.
Aladini’s online sales have grown by 20-30% over the past three years. The company aims to double sales next year and explore international markets for possible private equity or venture capital funding to further consolidate its market position and support expansion plans.
($ = 0.85308 euro)