The Moroccan Ministry of Industry and Commerce has disclosed its intentions and aspirations to integrate local markets known as “Hanut Malls” into the digital commerce ecosystem that is rapidly making its mark in the national market. The Ministry is exploring the possibility of integrating these local shopkeepers into the system by acting as intermediaries between these networks and the citizens.
Riyad Mezwar, the Minister of Industry and Commerce, revealed on Friday during a session presenting the ministry’s sub-budget to the House of Representatives that “Hanut Malls” serve as trusted intermediaries for citizens and have the potential to be utilized in e-commerce, acting as a bridge between companies and customers.
Mezwar stressed that his ministry is working on this matter to “ensure the delivery of digital commerce goods at ‘Hanut Malls,’ taking a pre-agreed profit margin. This integration would help achieve synergy between e-commerce and traditional trade.”
He emphasized that with the emergence of distribution networks and the digital economy, the local shopkeepers need to diversify and improve their income in the face of these evolving networks. Mezwar further highlighted that “Morocco’s e-commerce is on an upward trajectory, driven by a Moroccan company established just two years ago, which records 80,000 orders daily.”
According to Mezwar, 90% of Moroccans prefer cash-on-delivery as their payment method. Rarely do Moroccans prepay, which highlights the persistent low trust in e-commerce.
Furthermore, he revealed that “20% of the goods ordered through e-commerce do not find recipients upon delivery, leading to returns and losses for the companies.”
Mezwar concluded that local shopkeepers, acting as trusted intermediaries, could be integrated into the digital commerce system and serve as a hub for the delivery process, securing a portion of the profits. This step would foster the integration of e-commerce with traditional trade while preserving the essential role of local shopkeepers within society.
During the same session in the first chamber, Mezwar stated that “25% of ‘Hanut Malls’ income is derived from express packaging services, which serves as a commercial service for local shopkeepers. Facing the growing digital competition, we must focus on transforming the role of shopkeepers, enhancing their income, and reinforcing their position.”