Alibaba and Amazon Entry to Accelerate E-Commerce in Pakistan?

Media reports suggest global e-commerce behemoth Amazon.com could purchase substantial stake in Pakistan's e-commerce site  Clicky.pk.  This comes on the heels of a Bloomberg story that quoted anonymous sources indicating Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba is in serious negotiations to acquire Daraz.pk.  Online sales in Pakistan's $152 billion retail market are doubling every year,  according to Adam Dawood of Yayvo online portal. He expects them to pass $1 billion in the current fiscal year (2017-18), two years earlier than the previous forecast.

Amazon's Presence in Pakistan:

Amazon already owns about 33% stake in Clicky.pk through its acquisition in 2017 of Dubai-based online retailer Souq.  Souq acquired this stake in the Pakistani company in late 2016.

In March this year, Bloomberg cited sources saying that Alibaba and Daraz.pk are negotiating a a price for the acquisition. It said that the "deliberations are an early state and no decisions have been made".

E-Commerce Market Growth: 

Online sales in Pakistan's $152 billion retail market are growing much faster than the brick-and-mortar retail sales. Adam Dawood of Yayvo online portal estimates that e-tail sales are doubling every year. He expects them to pass $1 billion in the current fiscal year (2017-18), two years earlier than the previous forecast.

E-commerce in Pakistan is being enabled by increasing broadband penetration and new online payment options. Ant Financial, an Alibaba subsidiary, has just announced the purchase of 45% stake in Pakistan-based Telenor Microfinance Bank.

Payment Options: 

Mobile wallets, also called m-wallets, are smartphone applications linked to bank accounts that allow users to make payments for transactions such as retail purchases. According to recent State Bank statistics on branchless banking (BB) sector, mobile wallets reached a high of 33 million as of September 2017, up 21% over the prior quarter. About 22 percent of these accounts – 7.4 million – are owned by women, up 29% seen in Jul-Sep 2017 over previous quarter. Share of active m-wallets has also seen significant growth from a low of 35% in June 2015 to 45% in September 2017.

Summary: 

Online sales in Pakistan's $152 billion retail market are doubling every year,  according to Adam Dawood of Yayvo online portal.  The country's retail market is the fastest growing in the world, according to Euromonitor.  Expanding middle class, particularly millennials with rising disposable incomes, is demanding branded and packaged consumer goods ranging from personal and baby care items to food and beverage products. Strong demand for fast moving consumer goods is drawing large new investments of hundreds of millions of dollars.  Rapid growth in sales of consumer products and services is driving other sectors, including retail, e-commerce, paper and packaging, advertising, media, sports and entertainment. Potential downsides of soaring consumption include increased amount of  solid waste and decline in domestic savings and investment rates.

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Views: 484

Comment by Riaz Haq on April 21, 2018 at 8:02pm

Pakistan’s booming e-commerce market is just getting started
Sarfaraz A. KhanUpdated March 26, 2018 


https://www.dawn.com/news/1397446


Pakistan’s e-commerce market has witnessed phenomenal growth recently.

The number of registered e-commerce merchants has risen by 2.6-times and e-commerce payments have surged 2.3-times in a span of just twelve months, as per a State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) report. But this is still a young market with significant room for growth.

Pakistani businesses have embraced e-commerce. Hundreds of retailers, ranging from clothing outlets to electronic equipment stores, are now using websites to sell goods to customers.

The emergence of several online marketplaces, such as Daraz.pk and OLX Pakistan, has made it easier for retailers to sell goods on the web. At the same time, a number of new online businesses have also propped up.

As per the SBP’s Payment Systems Review (Q2FY18), there were a total of 344 e-commerce merchants in the country registered with banks at the end of 2016. By the end of 2017, that number had climbed to 905.

This growth was accompanied by a surge in e-commerce transactions from these merchants from Rs3.9 billion in the last three months of 2016 to Rs9.1bn in the last three months of the previous year. The central bank’s report also indicates that around 800 million payment transactions totalling Rs4.5bn were booked in the last three months of 2017. That’s also considerably greater than the Rs2bn e-commerce payments that happened in the same period of 2016.

The actual value of e-commerce sales, however, is likely several times larger than the above-mentioned numbers. That is because the central bank’s report only shows those transactions that occurred through debit or credit cards.

But Pakistani consumers mainly use the cash-on-delivery (COD) system to buy goods online. As per one estimate, almost 85 per cent of online sales occur through COD. Using this, we can speculate that roughly Rs25.5bn e-commerce payments may have occurred in the Oct-Dec period through the COD system.

It wasn’t long ago when the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority noted in its annual report for the previous fiscal year that the size of Pakistan’s e-commerce market could grow from $60m-$100m in 2015 to $1bn by 2020.However, industry experts now believe that the country could hit the key milestone by as soon as this year.

If the country continues to witness e-commerce sales of Rs30bn in every quarter from electronic card and COD system, just as it likely did in the last three months of 2017, then the total sales for the ongoing fiscal may clock in at Rs102bn, or $1.1bn at the current exchange rate. If however, Pakistan witnesses an increase in online sales, which could be driven by the Eid shopping season, then the market could go way past the $1 billion threshold in 2018.

At $1 billion, however, the size of Pakistan’s e-commerce market will still be tiny. Global e-commerce retail sales are expected to be around $2.8 trillion in 2018, as per data from Statista, a provider of market and consumer data.

China is the world’s largest e-commerce market where the online retail sales are forecasted to be around $600bn for 2018, followed by the US with $461.5bn of expected sales. India could report $25bn of retail e-commerce sales in the current year.

That being said, Pakistan is still a young e-commerce market where less than one-fifth of the total population uses the internet.

As per latest data from Internet Live Stats, the global internet penetration rate is around 46pc. In developed markets like the US, the metric is over 80pc. In Pakistan, however, a little less than 18pc of the population has access to the internet. That’s less than half of the global average, which means that there’s significant room for growth although internet penetration in the country has already grown significantly from just 8pc in 2010.

Comment by Riaz Haq on May 8, 2018 at 7:57am

#Alibaba buys Rocket Internet's #Pakistan #ecommerce platform Daraz.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-rocket-internet-divestiture-alib...

Alibaba Group (BABA.N) has bought the entire share capital of Rocket Internet’s (RKET.DE) South Asian ecommerce platform Daraz Group, Rocket Internet said on Tuesday.

Daraz, founded in Pakistan in 2012, operates online marketplaces in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Nepal. The unit will continue to operate under the same brand following the sale to Alibaba, Rocket said.

Comment by Riaz Haq on July 8, 2018 at 8:29pm

Pakistan To Have 100 Mln Smartphones In Next Two Years

https://www.urdupoint.com/en/technology/pakistan-to-have-100-mln-sm...

As per report of GSMA, by year 2020, a whopping 90 per cent of Pakistani population will have access to 3G networks while an impressive 80 per cent population will have access to 4G. Obviously, mobile broadband growth means flourishment of smartphone.

The mobile broadband users growth in pakistan is expected to touch 8 per cent mark in coming years as the country would have more than 100 million smartphones by 2020.

The third-generation (3G) and 4G mobile phone users stand at around 56 million and continue to grow, creating a huge demand for smartphones, which is the top selling category across all major e-commerce platforms.

--------------------------------------


The Mobile Economy 2018


https://www.gsma.com/mobileeconomy/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/The-M...

Having surpassed 5 billion people connected
to mobile services in 2017, the global mobile
industry will reach further milestones
over the next eight years. The number of
unique mobile subscribers will reach 5.9
billion by 2025, equivalent to 71% of the
world’s population. Growth will be driven by
developing countries, particularly India, China,
Pakistan, Indonesia and Bangladesh, as well
as Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America. 

-----------

While more than 3 billion people use mobile internet
globally (internet-connected consumers), their
digital engagement – measured by the GSMA
Global Mobile Engagement Index (GMEI) – varies
significantly between countries. On a scale of 0–10,
South Korea (6.8), Scandinavian countries (e.g.
Finland at 6.7, Sweden at 5.8), Australia (5.5) and
the US (5.3) have relatively high mobile engagement
scores (2017); many subscribers in these countries
use their phones on a regular basis to access not
only internet-based messaging and social media
but also entertainment content (such as movies,
music, games and sports), e-commerce and other
digitally delivered services and content (i.e. financial
services, health, education, government services).
Pakistan, India and Tanzania have the lowest scores
(at around 1.0). 

------------

Telenor’s Easypaisa digitises payments for Nestlé dairy farmers in Pakistan
Pakistan is the third largest milk-producing nation in the world, behind the US and India, with dairy and
livestock accounting for around 12% of GDP. The local unit of multinational food business Nestlé works
with around 150,000 dairy farmers across the country. Every year, the company pays approximately
PKR22 billion ($208 million) for nearly 0.5 billion tons of milk through an extensive chain of more
than 2,500 milk collection centres. Most farmers receive their payments in cash from the supply agent
routed via the traditional banking channel.
Telenor’s Easypaisa mobile money service collaborated with Nestlé Pakistan to make disbursement of
milk collection payments swift, easy and transparent. Easypaisa provided Telenor SIMs and registered
Easypaisa mobile accounts for around 15,000 farmers across Pakistan for the transfer of funds into
their accounts on a weekly basis. Easypaisa processed payments totalling more than PKR1 billion to
dairy farmers annually.

Comment by Riaz Haq on August 15, 2018 at 8:22am

‘Alipay to start operations in #Pakistan by end of 2018’. 
#Alipay seeking approval from State Bank of Pakistan to pave the way for international payment gateways to enter in Pakistan. #payments #Alibaba #ecommerce https://tribune.com.pk/story/1780902/2-alipay-start-operations-paki...

Alipay, the China-based third party mobile and online payments platform, will start operations in Pakistan by the end of this year, according to Irfan Wahab Khan, the Telenor chief executive officer.

Khan is also a board member of the Telenor Microfinance Bank in which Ant Financial, the parent company of Alipay and the financial services affiliate of Alibaba, acquired a 45% stake at an investment of $184.5 million in March 2018.

Currently, Ant Financial is in the process of taking approval from relevant authorities such as the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) to commence financial services in the country.

As Pakistan embraces digital technology after the spectrum auction that saw the arrival of 3G/4G services in the country, a payments solution was the need of the hour. While mobile phone infrastructure and service penetrate 72% of the population, according to the latest data available with the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), future growth will rely on digital payments becoming more accessible.

Khan agreed that the opportunity exists.

“The opportunity exists in data, digital payments and e-commerce,” Khan told The Express Tribune.

Pakistan has 58 million broadband subscribers including 56 million 3G/4G subscribers. Its e-commerce market is estimated at $1 billion, and gaining momentum.

Recently, Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce giant, acquired Daraz.pk from venture capital company Rocket Internet, and is tipped to be expanding its footprint in the country.

Its financial muscle and experience will help it against competition that includes the likes of PayPak of 1link, Fonepay, and Avanza Premier Payment Services (APPS) that have also entered the digital payments space with investments to the tune of millions of dollars.

Telenor – with its network and infrastructure – is also looking at the next growth segment as mobile broadband penetration slows down in the next five years.

Additionally, as users opt for over-the-top applications that bypass the traditional calls-receiving and calls-making processes, cellular mobile operators (CMOs) are now eyeing growth in the digital payments segment.

“We are putting a site an hour on 4G and will complete 80% of them by the end of this year,” said Khan, who took over as CEO Telenor Pakistan on August 1, 2016.

Mobile payment firms struggle to dethrone cash in Southeast Asia

Telenor is currently placed second as the CMO with the highest number of subscribers. It has 43 million subscribers after Jazz, which is the market leader with 55 million.

Telenor also has a 23% market share in the Next Generation Mobile Services (NGMS) market, which puts in third place after Jazz (34%) and Zong (29%).

On the other hand, Telenor also invested in an agriculture sector-related app, ‘Khushhal Zameendar’, which provides location-specific weather forecast and agronomic advisory to small-scale farmers.

“It’s about incentive. Customers are sensible to adopt new technology when it offers incentives to them,” Khan said. 

Published in The Express Tribune, August 15th, 2018.

Comment by Riaz Haq on December 25, 2018 at 7:50am

#Alibaba's #Alipay's entry to tap great potential of #Pakistan #ecommerce market. US$184 million investment to expedite mass adoption of digital #payments in Pakistan. #Internet penetration rising with estimated 60 million subscribers of 3G and 4G. https://on.china.cn/2EO9fAc

Alipay, a subsidiary of Hangzhou-based Ant Financial, has been cleared by the Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) to acquire a 45 percent stake in Pakistan's Telenor Microfinance Bank.

The investment of over US$184 million will expedite widespread adoption of digital payments in Pakistan. With internet penetration continuously on the rise, there are an estimated 60 million subscribers of 3G and 4G in the country that can become potential users of the service.

Several mobile payment services are presently operating in Pakistan. Primarily, these have been offered by telecom operators with a large number of cellular subscribers. However, limited international application has kept the penetration rate of the payment portals relatively low. Entry of Alipay, the world's largest mobile payment platform, will intensify competition higher, improve the quality of service and reinvigorate the entire landscape of the industry.

Pakistan's growing young population makes it suitable for embracing cashless payments on a large scale. People under the age of 30 form 64 percent of the population who are always the most likely to take up any new technology. On top of that, high cellular phone use will be a facilitative factor, since the mobile-first strategy for internet-based businesses is very valid in Pakistan. 

Commencement of Alipay's operations in Pakistan will also provide a major push to e-commerce. eBay CEO Devin Wenig recently identified emerging economies like Pakistan as the fastest growing e-commerce hubs of the world. The trend is spreading like wildfire across the country with new online shops emerging constantly. A reliable e-payment gateway with worldwide collaborators is all that Pakistanis need to streamline their online transactions.

Alibaba had already acquired Pakistan's leading e-commerce platform Daraz. Utilizing the reach of Alibaba, Pakistani sellers will now be able to connect with global buyer. 

The digital payment boom will be most beneficial for small and medium-sized enterprises that form the backbone of the national economy. Many of these businesses face difficulties in financial transactions due to being located in rural areas. Alipay might prefer to focus on them as the Pakistani government wants to reduce their business costs and difficulties.

Across the border in China, a new policy is on the cards to increase e-commerce purchases from overseas. Around 63 additional categories are being added to a product list of what can be imported duty-free through online platforms. Moreover, 22 cities, such as Beijing, Nanjing and Shenyang, are also being included in e-commerce pilot zones.

With several food items in the revised e-commerce import list, there is much potential for Pakistani farm produce. Fruits like mango and the mandarin hybrid kinnow can gain extended reach in the Chinese food market and the recent push to increase meat and poultry production could further boost Pakistan's exports.

The targeted online shoppers in China are increasingly focusing on foreign brands. Large businesses and premium brands from Pakistan can reach out to these buyers through Tmall Global – another Alibaba operated e-commerce platform allowing Chinese consumers to purchase products from abroad. Pakistan's small to medium businesses might not have the logistic prerequisites for this platform, but international-standard large companies certainly can.

Ant Financial is coming to Pakistan at a time when trade between Pakistan and China is touching new heights through the flagship project of Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) known as China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

Comment by Riaz Haq on September 30, 2019 at 9:13pm

#China approves PayPal's (PYPL) acquisition of a 70% equity interest in #Chinese GoPay. It will not be an easy market to break into. #Chinese #digital #payments services #Alibaba (BABA)'s #AliPay & #Tencent (TCEHY)'s WeChat Pay have dominated that market https://www.cnn.com/2019/09/30/tech/paypal-gopay-china-payments/ind...

As western companies jockey for a way into China's enormous digital payments business, PayPal has clinched a license to provide digital payment services in China, following its acquisition of a majority stake in a Chinese payments company.

China's central bank has approved PayPal's (PYPL) acquisition of a 70% equity interest in GoPay, the companies announced Monday. PayPal says this makes it the first foreign firm licensed to provide digital payment services in China.
The terms of the deal, which is expected to close by the end of 2019, have not been disclosed, a PayPal spokesperson said. GoPay is a small Chinese payments provider that functions similarly to PayPal — it allows merchants to accept non-credit card payments straight from their websites.
American payment and credit card companies have for years been trying to break into the world's second largest economy, where the growing middle class means a growing market of consumers seeking lending, credit card and money transfer services. In recent years, the Chinese government has opened the door to foreign firms to start applying for licenses to launch payments networks in the country, but the approval process has been slow-going. By taking on majority ownership of GoPay, PayPal acquired access to the Chinese firm's license to provide online payment services.

"We look forward to partnering with China's financial institutions and technology platforms, providing a more comprehensive set of payment solutions to businesses and consumers, both in China and globally," PayPal CEO Dan Schulman said in a statement on LinkedIn.

The deal opens the door for PayPal to process digital transactions in China — which are estimated to total in the trillions. But it may not be an easy market to break into. Chinese digital payments services Alibaba (BABA)'s AliPay and Tencent (TCEHY)'s WeChat Pay have dominated that market, in part by making it easy for merchants to use their services and accept payments from mobile phones rather than setting up the infrastructure to accept credit card payments. As of last year, more than 8 million brick-and-mortar stores in China accepted AliPay.
The licensing requirements have made it difficult for American companies to operate in the country, while benefiting Chinese companies.
Only one other American company has successfully made inroads in the market. Last year, American Express received preliminary approval from the People's Bank of China to start building out a domestic clearance and settlement network through its joint venture with Chinese partner LianLian group.
In every other market in the world, American Express processes transactions through its own, Arizona-based network. But in China, it's had to rely on the state-controlled payments giant China Union Pay to process transactions. The preliminary approval it received last year will allow it to build out its own network to process payments on AmEx branded cards.
Mastercard and Visa have also tried to offer such services in China.

Comment by Riaz Haq on December 18, 2019 at 10:14pm

Number of customers shopping on Daraz.pk #ecommerce website jumped 140% and orders placed in the year rose by 200%. Over 1 million wallets were activated and #digital #payments contributed 40% of the overall share of orders. #Pakistan https://www.brecorder.com/2019/12/19/554541/daraz-witnesses-excepti...

In 2019, Pakistan's e-commerce industry remained resilient; Daraz, a leading e-commerce platform in the country, witnessed exceptional growth as the number of users visiting the platform increased by 100 percent.

According to Daraz here on Wednesday, the number of customers shopping on its platform increased by 140 percent and the number of orders placed in the year rose by 200 percent despite inflationary pressures and currency fluctuations. Through the year, the platform pushed the boundaries of innovation to find solutions and drive growth.

As per a Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI)'s 2019 ecommerce report says that two factors highly-critical for the growth of the ecommerce landscape in Pakistan are financial inclusion and the country's literacy rate. With the launch of the Daraz Wallet in March, Daraz has not only contributed to financial inclusion but encouraged a shift towards digital payments.

Figures provided by Daraz, more than 1 million wallets were activated over the year and digital payments contributed to 40 percent of the overall share of orders. With the launch of Daraz University, the platform has focused on educating a growing seller base on ecommerce operations to ensure the growth of their online ventures. Extensive free-of-cost tutorials available to new and existing sellers focus on product pricing, packaging and customer service and have helped empower 30,000 sellers this year.

In the out-going year, Daraz also empowered sellers to reach a larger, global customer base with the launch of DExports. The platform provides complete support to local exporters to help them capitalise this opportunity in the form of free-of-cost trainings, knowledge sharing and offering a full ecosystem of payments and logistics support.

Exports carries the potential to boost Pakistan's exports in the coming years and open up more opportunities for local manufacturers.

Logistics in Pakistan has remained a challenge because the landscape in Pakistan is not digitized. “Daraz Express (DEX) was launched as a solution to the logistics challenge and is a cornerstone of the growth Daraz has witnessed in the past year. The company employs more than 1,500 DEX heroes and conducts more than 60 percent of all Daraz orders. As a result, the delivery time for orders has been reduced by 1-2 days and customer experience has been enhanced," said Daraz.

According to it, a number of initiatives Daraz has taken in the past year have ensured the platform's growth despite economic difficulties in the country. By developing a strong logistics infrastructure and a payments infrastructure that encourages digital transactions, Daraz has created fundamental changes in the country's ecommerce landscape. The platform stands in a unique position to alter the landscape, create opportunities for Pakistanis and lead the country in the digital era.

Comment by Riaz Haq on January 14, 2020 at 4:31pm

#Pakistan eyes #ecommerce for #economic growth. Pakistan's service sector #exports (#freelance) are around $5 billion. Opportunities for #startups and #SMEs (98% of all biz) thu #digitization and e-commerce, #service exports can be enhanced. #payments http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2020-01/14/c_138704624.htm

Abdul Razak Dawood, advisor to Pakistani prime minister on commerce, textile, industry and production, and investment, said on Monday that the special focus of the government on e-commerce policy will benefit the country, particularly giving a quantum jump to its exports.

Addressing a workshop here on e-commerce, the advisor said that in line with the government's vision of "Digital Pakistan", many lacunas in the procedural framework will be fixed.

"The moment we start minimizing the interaction between people with everything working online, then corruption will go down, inefficiency will go down and we will be able to move in a much, much faster way," he said.

Currently, Pakistan's services sector exports are around five billion U.S. dollars, said Dawood, adding that prioritizing opportunities for the startups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) through the policy of digitization and e-commerce, service exports could be enhanced to a great extent.

According to a report about the e-commerce policy framework of Pakistan released by the country's commerce ministry in September 2019, there are over 3.2 million SME units in Pakistan, accounting for 98 percent of all the enterprises, and the SMEs employ "nearly 78 percent of the non-agriculture labor force in Pakistan and contributes more than 30 percent" to the overall gross domestic product (GDP).

"E-commerce is an opportunity to bring SMEs in the mainstream and connect them with international markets through global e-commerce platforms as well as Pakistani online market places," the report added.

Talking to Xinhua, Badar Khushnood, a member of the Pakistani software houses association P@SHA, said that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is providing a great opportunity to Pakistan to learn and collaborate with Chinese tech giants like Tencent and Alibaba to tap its e-commerce potential.

Khushnood is of the view that companies like Alibaba, Uber and Careem have conducted B2C business in the country, and the business can be further expanded within the B2B framework as well.

According to a report released by the website Export.gov which is managed by the U.S. Department of Commerce, it is estimated that Pakistan has around 32 million Facebook users, and one of the highest rates of smartphone penetration in South Asia at nearly 34 percent. This makes it a potential market for e-commerce services and businesses.

Jawaid Ghani, professor of strategy and marketing research at Karachi School of Business and Leadership, told Xinhua that e-commerce facilitates make transaction easier, which is essential for foreign direct investment.

To increase exports, Pakistan has to introduce new e-commerce avenues as this would increase economic activity across all levels including B2B, B2C and C2C, he said.

The Export.gov report also noted that a large component of Pakistan's economy is informal and this is mainly because the majority of transactions are conducted in cash, except for those that are very large and require a bank draft or pay order. The majority of the local companies especially the SMEs are undocumented and therefore out of the tax net.

Ghani said that e-commerce and digital payment services would ensure transparency in transaction along with bringing the documentation of the undocumented transfer of money.

The McKinsey Global Institute report estimated that Pakistan can have an increase of a cumulative seven percentage points in its GDP along with the generation of around four million new jobs during 2016-2025 through utilizing digital financial services alone.

Comment by Riaz Haq on January 14, 2020 at 4:34pm

Pakistan - eCommerce

https://www.export.gov/article?id=Pakistan-eCommerce

Describes how widely e-commerce is used, the primary sectors that sell through e-commerce, and how much product/service in each sector is sold through e-commerce versus brick-and-mortar retail. Includes what a company needs to know to take advantages of e-commerce in the local market and reputable, prominent B2B websites.Last Published: 7/10/2019

Overview

Pakistan is still largely a cash-based, informal economy. The majority of transactions are conducted in cash, except for those that are very large and require a bank draft or pay order. Several studies suggest that up to 60 percent of the economy is informal, with the majority of local companies, particularly SMEs, undocumented and outside the tax net. 
A number of government departments have started to offer services via the Internet. In the private sector, four Pakistani airlines now offer e-ticketing and almost all local banks offer online banking services. This segment of the economy is expected to grow steadily as there are approximately 44.6 million Internet subscribers in Pakistan and this figure is expected double during the next five years.
There are also more than 32 million Facebook users in Pakistan and several local companies now use social media to promote their products and services. Pakistan has one of the highest rates of smartphone penetration in South Asia at nearly 34 percent, and mobile banking is an area with some promise.

Current Market Trends

The e-commerce sector has focused mainly on consumer products. Online customers in Pakistan search for and purchase consumer electronics and mobile phones, employment queries, online education and counseling, sale/purchase and information gathering about vehicles, computers and accessories, financial services, laptops and notebooks, motor vehicles by brand, test preparation and tutoring, and apparel and accessories. Consumer choices and the records they generate also produce a trove of data.

eCommerce Services

There are no banned browsers in Pakistan. Google Chrome is the most popular browser with 56 percent of total visitors, followed by Microsoft Internet Explorer with 21 percent. The remaining 23 percent of searches are through Android, Safari, Opera, Opera Mini, UC Browser, Safariand Maxthon respectively. Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, and Android account for the longest session durations.

Popular eCommerce Sites

Some leading eCommerce websites in Pakistan are; 

Online Payment

According to reports, 95 percent of e-companies get payments for their online orders by cash-on-delivery. This increases the liquidity requirements for e-commerce companies and also forces them to have dedicated teams that manage cash receipts for the company, thereby raising operational costs. The larger players in the e-commerce space have started to utilize digital payments, and are optimistic that the industry will come together to coax consumers into moving away from cash-on-delivery to online payments. Digital payments also represent a hurdle for Pakistan’s e-commerce sector. While a number of products like EasyPaisa, JazzCash, and uPaisa – which are mobile banks - are available today, none of them has high market penetration. This, coupled with the fact that only 24 percent of the country’s population has a bank account, vastly raises the cost of doing business for e-commerce companies.

Comment by Riaz Haq on June 19, 2020 at 4:35pm

#Pakistan registers 38 #exporters with #Amazon. #Covid19 #pandemic has increased the importance of #ecommerce manifold, making it an extremely vital sector of the #economy. State Bank of Pakistan now has regulatory framework for online cross-border trade. https://tribune.com.pk/story/2245651/2-pakistan-registers-sellers-a...

Pakistan is in the process of registering the country’s goods sellers with US e-commerce giant Amazon and has sent a list of 38 exporters for registration.

The initial list of 38 exporters comprises surgical and sports goods, and home textile sectors and the list will be expanded to other sectors in the near future, after successful trial of the shortlisted companies, announced Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood while chairing second meeting of the National e-Commerce Council on Thursday.

A video message of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) director general, who appreciated Pakistan’s e-commerce policy as a step in the right direction, was also shared with meeting participants. The adviser spoke about the progress made in the recent past on the e-commerce policy, since its approval on October 1, 2019. He appreciated coordinated efforts of public and private sectors for effective implementation of the policy.
Dawood emphasised that the trend of e-commerce had accelerated in recent years with the development and easy accessibility of internet. He added that due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the importance of e-commerce had increased manifold, making it an extremely vital sector of the economy.
He underscored the importance of directing resources towards digital adoption and connecting small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with e-platforms across the globe while exploring new market access opportunities for them.

Sharing progress, a State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) official said the regulatory framework for the facilitation of cross-border B2C (e-commerce) had been developed, which would be adopted after integration with the e-commerce module to be developed by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) in the Web-based One Customs (WeBOC) system. Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa revenue authorities apprised meeting participants of the incentives being announced for the digital and e-commerce sector in provincial budgets to support it during these challenging circumstances.

Representatives of the Consumer Protection Councils of Punjab and Lahore and of the Consumer Rights Commission of Pakistan informed meeting participants that, in line with the e-commerce policy, the federal and provincial consumer laws were being amended to include e-commerce and the disputes arising from the sector.

They added that webinars were being planned to educate the academia and train judicial officers in consumer protection. Meanwhile, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) revealed that several new initiatives were being planned to promote e-commerce, including a separate sector classification for e-commerce.

So far, 152 businesses have registered on its portal, which has reduced the time required for company registration to four hours.

Speaking on the occasion, the commerce secretary said the Ministry of Commerce was continuously engaged with Pakistan’s foreign trade missions for promoting trade and exploring new markets for exporters. In this regard, a new development is the registration of Pakistani sellers with Amazon.

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    Pakistan-Origin Muslim Actor Riz Ahmad Leads Campaign to Make Hollywood More Inclusive

    “With all my privilege and profile, I often wonder if this is going to be the year they round us up, if this is the year they’re going to put Trump’s Muslim registry into action, if this is going to be the year they ship us all off,” Riz Ahmad said back in 2019 at Creative Artists Agency's Amplify Conference. “The representation of Muslims on screen — that feeds the policies that get enacted, the people that get killed, the countries that get invaded.”…

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    Posted by Riaz Haq on June 12, 2021 at 10:00am

    Did Pakistan Help China Access American Stealth Helicopter Technology?

    American Defense publication "The Drive" claims that Pakistan has helped China get access to American stealth aircraft technology. Specifically, the American website alleges that the Pakistanis gave Chinese access to the wreckage of the US stealth helicopter destroyed during the American raid to kill Usama Bin Laden in Abbottabad in 2011. Chinese experts have called the accusation "groundless", according to Global Times. …

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    Posted by Riaz Haq on June 8, 2021 at 11:00am — 1 Comment

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