Growth of E-commerce in Morocco.

E-commerce in Morocco is one of the most dynamic industries on the African continent. Since 2005, the North African country has continued to develop its national strategy in order to adapt to the digital developments and changes in the electronic world. In 2021, the Moroccan e-commerce industry recorded 1 billion dirhams (MMDH) in turnover. Experts predict that this growth will continue with the possibility of reaching twice the turnover mentioned above. However, the growth of e-commerce in Morocco still encounters difficulties to reach its full potential.

The new generation of e-commerce brands in Morocco.

Since 2005, Morocco has continued to deploy its efforts to catch up with its technological delay in the E-commerce industry and position itself as a leader in the fields of new information and communication technologies (NTICS). Today, this sector is more accessible than ever and most Moroccan e-commerce brands pay close attention to the development of five elements: the product, the logistics, the store, the means of payment and the digital marketing.

The product highlights the market study as well as the positioning of the Moroccan online sales platform on the market. Regarding logistics, it is part of a delivery and inventory management framework. The store encompasses everything related to the experience and journey of the Moroccan customer as well as Content Management System (CMS) and Software as a Service (SAAS) technologies. Means of payment encompass financial options and partners, while digital marketing focuses on converting leads and increasing awareness of your Moroccan brand.

Furthermore, the new generation of Moroccan e-commerce brands establishes detailed specifications. The commercial platforms of the new generation of Moroccan e-traders inspire confidence in national consumers. Moreover, Moroccan e-merchants are constantly trying to optimize the management of returns, the means of delivery, the descriptions of their products and services as well as their guarantee.

The key characteristics of e-commerce in Morocco.

Morocco has spared no effort to launch several national strategies to ensure the continuity of the e-commerce dynamic in the North African country. However, since the emergence of Moroccan e-commerce, this sector has been characterized by an informal digital aspect. This is explained by the fact that Moroccan consumers prefer to carry out their transactions without going through the banks. It is for this reason that the vast majority of Moroccan e-merchants offer cash as a means of payment.

Moreover, the profits generated by these transactions are very significant. Another characteristic of e-commerce in Morocco is the great dependency of the majority of merchants on international SAAS platforms such as Wix or Shopify. While other Moroccan e-merchants favor small national agencies or freelancers.

 E-commerce in Morocco between difficulties and tax decree.

It is clear that the evolution of e-commerce in Morocco has great potential. Indeed, Moroccan consumers are more and more connected and their confidence in online sales is increasing. However, this confidence remains moderate due to several factors such as scam attempts, the inadequacy of the products and services offered to Moroccan customers compared to their needs, the discrepancy of the payment methods proposed, delivery problems and general security issues. Nevertheless, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the evolution of e-commerce in Morocco.

During the confinement period, 22% of Moroccan consumers turned to digital platforms to make their first online purchase. It is clear that sanitary confinement has completely changed the lifestyles of Moroccan consumers and their purchasing habits. According to statistics from the Interbank Monetary Center (IMC), the number of online payments by bank card increased by 46.5% during the year 2020.

However, despite the evolution of e-commerce in Morocco during these past years, the sector still encounters difficulties which slow down its development. The Moroccan e-commerce industry suffers from a large concentration of small retailers lacking resources. In addition to this, some international brands benefit from the coverage of customs facilities corresponding to low-value goods and exceptional shipments. This is one of the reasons that prompted the Moroccan authorities to regularize the sector by imposing the decree (2.22.438). Contrary to the general perception of Moroccan consumers, this decree does not aim to limit the freedom to buy online. This new legislation aims to fight against unfair competition, informal trade, protect the health of the consumer and boost the State’s revenues.

Additionally, it should be noted that each year, the Moroccan authorities lose approximately 500 MDH gross. This represents a significant financial revenue for the Moroccan State. Therefore foreign e-commerce brands will have to include customs duties in the final price of their products. Thus, they will be able to proceed with the customs clearance of all their goods shipped to the North African country. Although this new legislation does not bring unanimity, especially on the side of small e-merchants, the taxation of e-commerce sales is increasingly coming into force. Moreover, in 2021, the EU introduced VAT and is currently studying the removal of the limit of 150 Euros.

All the economic indicators prove that the evolution of e-commerce in Morocco promises real sustainability. Economic conditions are more than favorable and Moroccan online sales platforms are booming. Moreover, online shopping is becoming more and more part of the daily life of Moroccans. In addition to this, Moroccan e-merchants are tempted by the removal of physical limits and intermediaries. Despite several difficulties, the future of the e-commerce sector looks bright.