Online shopping shows slow growth in Pakistan
Despite its huge potential, online shopping business (ecommerce) continues to grow slowly in Pakistan due to lack of awareness among internet users and their mistrust in the system.[blockquote cite=”Ahmed Khan – Managing Director of Asia of kaymu.pk (German online shopping store)”] Although online users have increased 38 to 40 percent over the last year and online shopping business has expanded by 10 times, the business’ real potential is still untapped. There is potential to reach one-fifth of the country’s population, for this, the industry needs to sit together and create public awareness about the benefits of ecommerce.
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- A leading online store, flipkart.com, in India generates an average 25,000 sales orders per day against 3,000 collected by a Pakistani online shop.
- An average order price tag of Indian internet shopping outlet is 4,500 Indian rupees, while that of Pakistan’s is Rs2,000.
- 12.6 percent of the Indian population is using internet as compared with 15 percent (29.13 million) users in Pakistan. Broadband penetration in the country rose 43 percent in 2012 with two million subscribers.
- One reason of growth in online shopping industry in India is the availability of 3G technology, due to which the penetration of smartphones in the Indian market is 7.6 percent as against 4.2 percent in Pakistan.
Almost 80 percent of the internet users in Pakistan spend more than one hour per day on the internet, while 60 percent interact with brands online and 30 percent of these do it on smartphones.
Pakistan is the fifth largest mobile phone market in Asia and 67 percent of Pakistanis have access to internet connection via their mobile phones, but due to slow data services, online shopping stores are not growing.[blockquote cite=”Khuram Ashfaq of techcity.pk”] Besides, people don’t trust online shopping stores, which are all virtual businesses and can close anytime.
[/blockquote] [blockquote cite=”Arsalan Chaudhry of shophive.com”] Online sellers rely on cash on delivery model because of the unavailability of internet payment gateways. Paypal doesn’t exist in Pakistan.
However, online shopping stores in Pakistan are becoming famous for tech items (Chinese PC tablet, replica items, such as sunglasses, watches, and sports t-shirts). Branded gadgets are also on sale on internet shopping outlets.