Online shopping has been on the rise in Pakistan since the pandemic with rising internet penetration and smartphone use along with a younger consumer base providing a boost to the rapidly evolving e-commerce industry.
This was the consensus among the leading names in digital marketing who were part of a webinar on the theme of “Navigating the digital shift: Evolving consumer behaviour in Pakistan’s e-commerce landscape” hosted by The Express Tribune.
Daraz Pakistan Managing Director Ehsan Saya emphasised the importance of customer trust in online purchases while reiterating his company’s commitment to improving the customer experience.
Unilever Pakistan Director of Strategy and Digital Transformation Fawad Ahmed pointed out that the Covid-19 pandemic, along with significant investments in startups and digital payment platforms, has contributed to the growth of the e-commerce ecosystem in Pakistan.
He noted that 60% of consumers in Pakistan are under the age of 30, leading to changing consumption patterns.
Visa Senior Vice President and Group Country Manager in North Africa, Levant and Pakistan Leila Serhan highlighted the exponential growth in online shopping worldwide due to the impact of Covid-19 on consumer habits.
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Serhan mentioned a post-Covid-19 survey showing that small and medium businesses in Pakistan were interested in adopting digital payments and going online.
Logistics startup Rider Founder and Chief Executive Officer Salman Allana talked about post-purchase dissonance and returned packages in online shopping.
He also followed up on earlier speakers’ remarks about the potential of e-payment at consumers’ doorsteps in the coming years.
Saya pointed out the success of Daraz’s recent sale in Pakistan to highlight the importance of competitive pricing. He added that Daraz’s upcoming 11/11 sale was expected to be a success like previous iterations by offering major discounts and competitive prices.
The speakers also discussed gender diversity, with Saya pointing out that almost 30,000 of their 100,000 sellers were women. He pointed out that a quarter of those women sellers and entrepreneurs were from outside the major metropolises of Karachi, Lahore, and Islamabad.
The webinar that was live-streamed on the social media platforms of The Express Tribune was among the top trends, with the #DigitalShift in second place on Pakistani X (formerly Twitter).
Published in The Express Tribune, November 11th, 2023.
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