E-commerce is dominated by business-to-consumer (B2C) companies in Pakistan. General e-commerce, groceries/quick(q)-commerce, and fashion are the three main sectors. The latest trends in e-commerce in Pakistan have emerged and it opens the doors of boundless opportunities.
Quick commerce/groceries is the most fiercely contested current sector in Pakistan, with Foodpanda and Airlift fighting for supremacy. The dark store model requires a limited number of stock-keeping units (SKUs) to be stored strategically in multiple locations spread across different neighborhoods, allowing both companies to promise sub-30-minute delivery in major cities. A second start-up, Munchies, has raised $2.5 million to follow the dark store model and has recently opened in Karachi.
The reason for such big increases is that the dark store model requires heavy investment upfront to get up and running. Furthermore, other big-brand retailers (Carrefour, Al-Fatah, Metro, etc) and start-ups (Grocer app, Hum mart, Cheetah, Bykea, among others) are also competing in this space using different business models.
Even though q-commerce companies have raised significant funds, a fundamental question remains. Will q-commerce succeed in Pakistan? In Pakistan, life is lived at a slower pace compared to the US and Europe. Affluent households hire paid help, and people tend to shop as an excuse to get out of the house since there are fewer leisure activities available. At the moment, customers are using the services because there are multiple discounts available since start-ups are fully funded and focused on acquiring customers. The question this raises is, how sticky and loyal will such customers be?