As the weather in Israel heats up, we’re anticipating an interesting Summer in Israel for e-commerce and online businesses. After 12 summers in Israel things would get predictable, but not so . . . with cannabis laws on the cusp of change, technologies growing exponentially, and the way we interact with the world changing every day it’s hard not to get excited about the future!
Here are 4 top predictions we see happening in Israel over the Summer as they relate to my area of expertise: e-commerce.
- CBD Gets Legal, Goes Mainstream in Israel. Online shops are gearing up for the announcement that is expected any day now that CBD, free of THC, will be for sale without prescription on the open market. Retailers serving the Israel marketplace have already built websites in anticipation of this change. These websites are in Israel, in Hebrew and are marketing CBD oil to the Israel marketplace. Most countries have had legal CBD for a few years now.
- Reverse Logistics Solutions. Shoppers and industry-watchers alike have watched M & S and Target struggle to set up the successful model like Next. Next and ASOS – neither has a shop in Israel, are both are considered major players in the clothing retail industry. However, returns remains a pain point for both consumer and retailer even with Next and ASOS. A new start-up, OtailO, aims to tackle this problem and I predict even more interest in the field of reverse logistics solutions as e-commerce returns become more prevalent in the lives of most Israelis. We seem to be able to get the items here, but what do we do when they’re not what we wanted? There has to be a better solution.
- English Too! One of my favorite online sites, castro.co.il has been in English for a while. It’s a super friendly website, the clothes are really nice quality, and the sizing is almost always on-point. But are they reaching enough international consumers? This summer I see Israel-based retailers and manufacturers developing English-language websites and marketing to the international audience as an Israeli brand. With Eurovision taking place in Israel, maybe the European market has become used to seeing the Israeli flag more and would welcome items made in Israel.
- If I could make one wish for Israeli retailers and e-commerce shops online, it would be to make the shopping experience much better for consumers. From groceries to computer accessories, my online shopping experience has been mixed. I’ve received dented oozing cans, bags filled with liquid fabric softener, but also had deliveries that were absolutely beautiful where the shopper called me and we chatted a bit. I’ve ordered items that were supposed to be in stock and they weren’t, but that’s more the exception than the rule – probably because I check before I order if it’s in stock as a precaution. English speaking consumers already turn to other Anglos like Tamarim Concierge Service to send gifts in Israel instead of guessing that they will reach someone that understands their needs and meets the high level customer service they are accustomed to.
Israel is on the OECD, yet its consumer practices remain far behind – CBD is illegal still, the cost of returning items is more than they are worth, websites targeting the international audience are few compared to the overall numbers, and the consumer experience isn’t always great.
Wishing all Israeli e-commerce and other businesses a successful summer!