The question and answer session of managers, communications manager and deputy manager of DigiKala was held at the end of the “Online Iran 02” event. Amirhassan Mousavi, Digikala’s communications manager, in response to the Zomit reporter about addressing the issue of filtering and its effects on Digikala’s collection, said:
“In the report, we have talked about the facts and provided some quantitative analysis. In the statements or tweets of the CEO of Digikala, our position on filtering has been announced. There are also facts in our annual report, such as Digikala’s daily traffic hitmap or the daily amount of purchases, which can show the effect of filtering. There are limits for us to address some issues, and because bad things have happened to us, we cannot raise these issues anymore.”
Saeed Mohammadi, the co-founder of DigiKala, also explained the effect of internet restrictions on DigiKala as follows: “Apart from the impact of social unrest and strikes last year, the internet disruptions on some days last year caused us to lose up to 30% of DigiKala’s traffic. “On the days when the internet was down or cut off, we were also affected, and basically, businesses whose main channel is the internet are definitely affected by disruptions.”
Hamid Mohammadi, the other founder of Digikala, also pointed out the cyber attacks and their effects and said: “During the cyber attacks in the fall and even in January last year, there were disturbances for us and the bandwidth of the data center was disrupted.”
He considered the restrictions created for Google to be another factor that reduced Digikala’s traffic: “A large part of the traffic of platforms like Digikala comes from Google, and when Google was disrupted, about 30-40% of our traffic would also decrease.”
He also explained that although Instagram businesses suffered last year, Instagram traffic is now back and almost all users are using the social network. However, the imposed restrictions have significantly reduced investment in this area.
Social commerce is one of Digikala’s focus points
Saeed Mohammadi, in response to Zomit’s other question about the plans for this group to develop in the social business sector, said: “Social business grew a lot during the Corona pandemic, and although its growth slowed down a little after this period, it is still growing.” Social business is not on the decline. In the field of social business, we are still in a space of experimenting and testing different ideas and business models. We at Digikala have the same procedure of experiencing different business models. For example, a few years ago, we invested in Komda Business, which was a social business platform in the field of women. “Also, we are experimenting with the Magnet platform.”
Hamid Mohammadi, the other founder of DigiKala, also explained DigiKala’s procedure for working in the field of social commerce and said: “One of our focus points in DigiKala in the last three or four years has been the field of social commerce, because this is a trend that is in the Far East and China. experienced the greatest growth. Therefore, this area was both a threat and an opportunity before our eyes.”
He introduced one of Digikala’s services called Magnet as one of the latest efforts of this group in the field of social business and explained: “We launched Magnet to be a platform for content marketing in the sales department similar to what businesses experience on Instagram. We also provided two services to those who are doing business on social platforms like Instagram. One is DigiFi in the field of providing shop services, including logistics, payment, advertising, marketing, etc., and DigiExpress, which we have introduced today with a dropshipping model that can solve the logistics concerns of social business activists.
The return of sales after a few months of decline
Hamid Mohammadi pointed out that “last year sales decreased compared to 1400 and even compared to our expectations” and stated the reasons for this decrease as follows: “interruptions and internet disruptions, Instagram filtering, last year’s social crisis, The economic crisis caused by these social issues, the economic situation and the growth of the inflation rate in the past years caused this decrease.
Of course, according to him, currently Digikala has distanced itself from the previous decline and “compared to the average growth rate of the past few years, our sales have now returned.”
Mohammadi also explained about the status of Digikala to enter the capital market: “Until March of last year, we did not pursue the issue of entering the stock market anymore. In March 1401, we were invited by the Tehran Stock Exchange, we also submitted our documents, but this has not happened yet.
Lack of capital prevented the creation of unicorns in Iran
In response to a journalist’s question about the establishment of Unicorn in Iran, Hamid Mohammadi said: “Despite the capacities and young forces of the country, maybe five years ago, the first Unicorn should have been formed in Iran.” But the low volume of investment was one of the most important reasons that prevented the creation of a unicorn in Iran. An important part of the necessary investment for unicornization requires international capital, which is not available in Iran.
Of course, he believes that even in spite of these conditions, the window of opportunity for a unicorn in Iran is not closed and there is still a possibility of forming a unicorn in the country.
The entry of digital currency in online transactions will be inevitable
Masoud Tabatabai, the Deputy Director of DigiKala, also pointed out the legal prohibition on the possibility of using digital currency for purchases on the DigiKala platform and explained: “We are aware of the entry of digital currency into our platform at DigiKala, but there is a legal prohibition in this field. . “Accepting digital currency on online sites is legally prohibited and we can only receive Rials.”
Of course, he believes that going towards the use of digital currency is inevitable and this will happen: “Digital currency is the trend of the day and we are also forced to go in this direction.” This topic, like any topic that was banned in Iran at first, currently has prohibitions, but due to the way the world is going this way and that, we will inevitably go to digital currencies.
Moving to the online market
In another part of the “Online Iran 02” event, a group of members of companies and brands that cooperate with DigiKala to present their products online sat in the panel “Electronic commerce in the past year”. They consider it necessary to be present in the online market alongside the offline markets in today’s world and predict a good future for this field.