COVID-19 shows the future not the end of globalization. The interesting news for the online sellers is that, the shift to online consumption looks to be a permanent behavior change across different demographics and countries including Pakistan and India. Shopify reported that 86% Indians have adopted online shopping during the pandemic indicating accelerated adoption of ecommerce across agegroups. Pakistan as a global seller is still not in the race, due to the restrictions on the international payment gateways. But in the local context, a rise in the online shopping can be seen. According to an estimate, M&P a leading courier company was picking around 150,000 COD (Cash on Delivery) shipments per day in January 2020 and now they are picking around 450K COD shipments per day. And with many cities going back into various states of smart lockdown and shops forced to close again in specific areas, the second wave of COVID-19 looks to be another boom period for ecommerce.
According to Linnworks, “Established digital behaviors among younger generations have accelerated, while older age groups have also engaged more heavily with digital activities like mobile payments and eCommerce, with these new habits embedding into people’s lifestyles.”
Conventional Pakistani businesses have also embraced eCommerce. Thousands of retailers, ranging from clothing outlets to electronic and mobile equipment stores, are now using websites to sell goods to customers. According to Dawn, 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. For the 220 million market size, there are still very few credible online stores in Pakistan, event can be counted on the finger tips. So, this is still a young market with significant room for growth.
The pandemic has brought about a huge change in the way consumers shop. The year has led to massive digital adoption that will change the way we approach shopping, perhaps forever. Its high time to tap the market. The player who will sell fine quality unique products at nominal rates along with an expert team of digital marketing and operations will win the game.
Just take the initiative! Stop wishing. Start doing!