In a click: Online commerce in Pakistan
We’ve come a long way from venturing out from our homes to buy things like groceries, clothes or even gadgets. As internet has made things available for us to buy online, purchasing habits have also changed and with it, the concept of a modern lifestyle. The advent of 3G communication in Pakistan has meant that now portable communication devices like cell phones and tablets have high speed internet connectivity facilitating its myriad of users in making their purchases over the internet.
This is not to say that there aren’t any challenges that the e-commerce industry in Pakistan has to overcome. People still feel a bit skeptical in giving out their credit card details on websites that are not that well-known but as internet surfing habits continue to rise and as long as technology journals and websites continue to document and review popular websites, users will eventually warm up to the idea of buying things over the internet.
According to a report released by a mobile survey company Ansr.io, out of the 30 million internet users in Pakistan, 15 million use their cell phones to surf the Internet and a survey carried out by The Express Tribune depicted that almost 56% of the respondents said they had made a purchase online. Even though there are no official statistics about the e-commerce industry in Pakistan, experts have estimated it to be over $25 – $30 million a year.
One of the popular e-commerce websites in Pakistan is foodpanda.pk, which is an online food ordering marketplace that provides its services over its mobile app as well as through its website. Hosting over 700 restaurants which offer delivery, it also recently started accepting online payments which is a major step in making the entire food ordering process completely digital.
Co-MD foodpanda Talha Ansari said:
The growth of e-commerce in Pakistan is encouraging for companies like us who are committed to make the transition from offline buying to online buying and even to mobile buying, easier and more rewarding for people.
Ahsan Mateen, Co-MD foodpanda, said:
The foodpanda app which allows customers to place orders through their phones and our subsequent introduction of online payment facility has proven that commitment.
Online commerce may still be a new phenomenon in Pakistan but is fast finding acceptance with people who were earlier used to an offline lifestyle. Ease and convenience in ordering coupled with options to customize orders means that everyone will eventually be catered to in the way they want and what’s not to like about that?