Business Technology

THE FUTURE OF E-COMMERCE IN PAKISTAN

Written by Zahid Malik

People are altering their ways of buying. The most convenient mode of purchasing these days is online shopping. The entire marketing ecosystem has changed drastically in the past few years. Consumers are nowadays making more online transactions, trusting the capabilities of online shopping more while trusting brick-and-mortar stores less.

Humans deal with crisis in various ways. In a critical period like virus lockdown, consumers tend to fall towards easiest ways of purchasing. Shopping from web-stores, the buyers seemed to gain the little control they have over their lives.

As Corona Virus was officially announced a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO), people reacted by stocking up through panic buying. They bought out medical supplies like hand sanitizer, masks; household essentials like toilet paper and bread. Soon, both brick-and-mortar and online stores were facing a lot of trouble to keep up with consumer demand as price gouging for supplies went unbridled.

There was also this crowd mentality of seeing other people stocking up and then seeing a lack of necessary products validates the decision to stock up.  The fear of being left behind without any resources made consumers to order in bulk.

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Since people have accepted social distancing as a way to slow the spread of the pandemic, consumers are preferring to shop online instead of risking their lives and buying in person. Also, after the pandemic, social distancing and staying home is further expected to push the consumers towards online shopping. However, uncertain consumer demand and supply chain issues can affect the e-commerce industry. The pandemic issue can also affect big enterprises. In short, the flare of COVID-19 had an impact on these segments due to the irregularity in the supply chain and consumer demand across the world.

The recent index results show that all Pakistani ecommerce companies seem to be following the international sales day such as 11.11 and Black Friday. While the average order value increased by 11.8% in the last three months on Daraz  ,the use of e-wallets and mobile accounts grew by 8.2X last year and the use of bank cards grew by 1.9x. Additionally, the use of online banking grew by 1.9x.

This data suggests that a large fragment of Pakistani shoppers have identified ecommerce platforms as a solution during these difficult times and have moved towards online shopping even to purchase groceries, a category over which traditional retail has held a stronger grip.


EXISTING ECOMMERCE SITES AND MARKETPLACE:

Photo by @charlesdeluvio on Unsplash

With the spate of 3G and 4G connections nationwide, Pakistan’s e-commerce industry has experienced rapid increase in the past years especially during lock-down in the country. This growth has been so vast and speedy it is estimated that Pakistan’s e-commerce sector will achieve $1 billion in revenues by 2020.This is partially due to the ever increasing consumer base with access to the internet, which has crossed 40 million this year.

Daraz’s E-commerce Index has found that ‘Electronics and Appliances’, ‘Mobiles and Tablets’ and ‘Fashion’ are the top three successful categories in e-commerce. In terms of units sold, the FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) category has been found to be the most elevating in 2019. As far as sales are confirmed, the mobiles/tablets category has been celebrated the most on e-commerce platforms. Meanwhile at Daraz, mobile top-ups were the second most sold product on the platform suggesting that convenience is an important factor that can help convert hybrid and offline shoppers to online shoppers.

Other than Daraz, there are many other retailer online stores that have good reputation for customer service and reliability in the marketplace. Some of them are discussed below.

WBM international is a prominent marketplace in e-commerce. They are popular for their high grade products that are popular in the US and also in European countries. They have recently launched Pakistan’s shopping platform. wbminternational.pk provides consumers with high-quality products with the same brand name. They have future plans of converting their retailer site into a portal where different sellers and brand stores will be to sell their products. Their categories include Home & Decor, School and Office stationery items, Health and Beauty products, Grocery products, etc. WBM International can be a potential competitor to Daraz. The company is highly reliable and they always make sure that the quality of their products is good. WBM International also offers easy return and exchange policy to its customers.

Symbios.pk provides IT related products. With persistent hard work and efforts, the website is able to grow their customer base. They emerged as a trustworthy website for buying a few specific products in the past few years. They mention to cater with more than six modes of payments and claim to receive orders from international buyers as well. Symbios.pk is user-friendly and allows users to compare different products. It currently provides its customers with electronic gadgets, mobile phones, electronics appliances, Men and Women wares, Laptops, Cameras, etc.

Shophive.com is another buying online website present since 2006. It has come out into a very good shopping website that supplies many products online. This website is famous for its good customer and after-sale service and the prices of products are almost same as the markets.

BARQ MALL – THE FASTEST GROWING ONLINE MARKETPLACE OF PAKISTAN

Even though Pakistan might not stand parallel to the global players in e-commerce for the time being, it is not too far behind either. Pakistan’s future in e-commerce suggests hopeful prospects with rapid growth.

In the era of competitive online marketplace, the emerging shopping platform Barq Mall has promising offers to deliver. Barq Mall claims to give the best online shopping experience ever for their consumers. Launching with 20,000+ products in the categories including fashion, groceries, home décor, lifestyle, sports, electronics and much more, Barq Mall is eyeing to start its operations in October 2020.

With the values like ensured quality of products, in-time delivery, responsive customer care, variety of choices, transparent commission structure and user friendly technology, Barq Mall is willing to bring positive competitive vibes in e-commerce arena of Pakistan.

Let’s see how it goes.

https://twitter.com/barqmall

About the author

Zahid Malik

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