Competition breeds innovation, which in turn becomes the basis of success. This is the reason the same businesses can have different levels of success, those who adopt change and innovate with time can survive longer and be successful. One such innovation has been the rise of eCommerce. eCommerce is a form of trading that takes place solely on the internet. This has given rise to the concept of online grocery in Pakistan especially in big cities like Islamabad, Rawalpindi. Sitting on a couch, now you can order anything from around the world, it is hassle-free, and delivered to your doorstep.
Online shopping and online grocery have taken off in the past 5 years in countries like Pakistan. Pakistan has a budding IT community and with reports suggesting the fastest growing in Asia as well, this could be decent times for the country. Now you don’t have to visit a crowded electronics market to buy a washing machine, you can simply visit Grade One Mart online and choose the one you want. It’s cheaper than the market and arrives at your doorstep in less than 24hours. Pakistan at this moment is ready to exploit its massive population and go all out in the online shopping industries. For any developing country, it is very important to tap into the potential that digitization has to offer. Following are some of the reasons that can make 2021 a revolutionary year for online grocery shopping in Pakistan.
Since the turn of the century, Pakistan has had four different regimes, and all of them have had their share of criticism. But one thing that is hard to deny is every regime’s support for the digitalization of the country. Like in the early 2000s the Musharaf regime made the IT sector its priority, moving on to Zardari’s regime, they supported cheap internet and ease of access, Sharif’s regime brought the country into 4G era, and now the Khan’s regime is determined to further the cause.
The current government since its first day has taken steps to ensure that Pakistan becomes the hub of eCommerce in the sub-continent and Asia as a whole. The government is encouraging the youth and has established businesses to do their part. Businesses all across the countries have now understood the demand for online shopping and have taken steps to ensure they don’t fall behind. Stores like Grade One Mart have shown that not only online shopping has a bright future but is the next logical step to further strengthen our economy. Apart from the government grants, loans on relaxed conditions are also encouraging a lot of businesses and proprietors to take the online route.
One of the reasons that online shopping is set to see a massive turnaround is the steady numbers this industry is producing for the past 5 years. According to a State Bank of Pakistan report, in the year 2019 online shopping raked in 18.7 billion rupees doubling the figure of 2018. The experts expect the figure to double for the year 2020 as well. Two months into 2021, the official report has not yet been compiled but the early rumors suggest that the country has already achieved the double of what was made in 2019.
This looks like very good reading, if the country has indeed doubled the online sale of 2019 in 2020, then the chances are the trend will continue. Pakistan on those numbers is already ranked the 2nd largest eCommerce market in South Asia, and with government support, the country is all set to conquer the Asian online market. International businesses have also recognized this fact and are willing to open up their online stores in Pakistan.
Ease of Access
One of the reasons why 2020 was considered a successful year in online shopping was customer’s ease of access to these stores. According to a recent report, Pakistan has 200 million active mobile users and most of them use smartphones, and among them, almost 80% of people have had an online shopping and grocery experience. Now, this looks like a very encouraging number for any business looking from the outside and indeed it is. The above-mentioned profits speak for themselves and all the studies indicate that the use of smartphones and access to the internet is going to increase. Most online shopping is now done through smartphones, either by using an app or visiting a company’s website. An increasing number of businesses are following the trend which will surely make 2021 an unbelievable year for online shopping.
One of the biggest reasons that online shopping saw an increase, not only in Pakistan but all over the world, is the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic brought the whole world to a standstill and the lockdowns forced many businesses to either downsize or simply just wound up. Pakistan an already developing economy felt the blow pretty severely, but as an intelligent nation, it is, quickly moved to an alternative. After the initial lockdowns and quarantines, many businesses took the online route. Businesses that previously had little to zero online presence have developed apps and online stores to sustain their operations. Before the pandemic, Pakistan’s main online shopping was restricted to garments, beauty products, and a low volume of grocery shopping. Since then, everything is available online and the customers have taken advantage of it. Online stores like Grade One Mart have everything on their online stores, from washing machines to LED’s, all the grocery items, and much more, and stores like these are growing by the day. With no end in sight of the ongoing pandemic, experts have suggested that 2021 is all set to be the most profitable year for the country as far as online shopping is concerned.
The success of online shopping in 2020 is also down to shifting trends and a willingness to shop online. Pakistan is one of the few countries where the lockdown due to the pandemic was lifted fairly quickly but the customers are still anxious to return to markets. People who usually would have gone out for a shopping trip are now doing it on their smartphones and tablets. Pakistan is a wholesome country and for it to move away from its colorful markets is a real surprise, both culturally and traditionally. But she has taken it all in her strides and is now becoming a stable and reliable market for online businesses. This shift in trend will further catch on, as more and more people are getting used to the idea of online shopping. This can be the single important factor that revolutionizes online shopping in the country.
Big Brand Interest
For a consumer market to be successful, it needs big brand support. Pakistan has some of the biggest international and local brands that make up our consumer market. These brands have megastores and spend millions on advertising yearly, but due to the success of online shopping, they have been forced to change the way they run their business. Initially, they used third-party stores to promote their products, but now have a dedicated app and website to cater to the needs of their customers. This has undoubtedly made the online market in Pakistan more competitive since major brands can now be browsed laying on your bed. Big brands are hungry for more profits and this boom in the online market gives them a perfect opportunity to expand their reach and profits. Look out for these big brands in 2021.
As stated above, Pakistan is the 2nd biggest eCommerce market in South Asia and this fact has been accepted by some of the biggest online retailers in the world. With a high population, Pakistan has always been considered a great market for consumer products. With relaxed taxation laws, the market is ripe enough to be exploited by foreign brands. 2020 saw major international brands opening their stores in Pakistan, like the Chinese mobile company Xiaomi which opened its Mi Store and has enjoyed success. With the announcement other mega online stores like Amazon and Alibaba are set to enter the Pakistani market, the graph will only grow vertical. The interest of such famous mega stores holds well for the future of online shopping in Pakistan, especially in 2021.
Pakistan is one the most diverse countries in the world both culturally and economically. People who have made their fortunes in this country can attest to that fact. A country where stores like Grade One Mart can cater to all the needs of its customers can expand its online market to the services sector as well. A country whose economy never went into red even in the peak COVID crisis has to be considered a heaven for online retailers. If a study of comparisons between Pakistan’s online shopping community and the rest of the world is done, there is very little doubt that we will come on top in most of the cases. This apart from the above points should be able to convince anyone that Pakistan is all set to undergo a revolutionary change for online shopping and grocery in 2021.