The world of buying and selling things online in Pakistan is changing super fast. Lots of chances are popping up for both people who want to sell stuff and folks who want to buy things.
Pakistan’s e-commerce scene is like a big puzzle, with all these different pieces that fit together and make a whole new picture. Businesses and people looking to buy things are both a part of this puzzle.
Imagine you’re in a big market, but this one’s not made of bricks and mortar. It’s a digital market, which means it’s all on the internet. This market is where sellers and buyers meet, and it’s open 24/7. It’s a place where you can sell things without needing a physical store. And that’s what e-commerce in Pakistan is all about.
In this blog we are going to give the lowdown on what’s happening right now in the world of e-commerce and talk about all the cool chances it’s bringing for people who want to start their own business. We will also tell you all about the ways people pay online in Pakistan.
So, if you’re thinking about starting your online shop in Pakistan, this blog’s got your back. It’ll help you understand this new online market and show you the ropes to get you started on your e-commerce journey in Pakistan.
Understanding the Pakistani E-commerce Environment
Here’s some important stuff to know:
1. How Big It’s Getting
Every year, the number of people buying things on the internet goes up by about 35%. In Pakistan, over 100 million people are using the internet to buy stuff. The number of shops selling things online went up a lot, from 1,707 shops in 2019-20 to 3,003 shops in 2020-21. That’s a 76% increase in just one year. In 2021, Pakistan was the 37th biggest place for online shopping, making about USD 5.9 billion. They’re expecting it to go up to about USD 7.666 billion in 2022.
2. Where People Shop
There are big online shops in Pakistan like Daraz, Foodpanda, and Zameen. Also, really big international shops like Amazon and Alibaba are looking at Pakistan too. These shops sell lots of things, from gadgets and clothes to makeup and food.
3. Good for Starting a Business
Online shops can help businesses save money. They don’t need as much money to run, which could mean they can sell things for less money too. Also, they can learn a lot from the information they get from people buying stuff, and make things that people want more.
4. Things That Need to Get Better
For online shops to keep growing in Pakistan, people need to learn more about using the internet for shopping, and the places that deliver stuff need to get a lot better too.
5. What the Rules Are
Online shops are growing because people can get on the internet fast and use phones and laptops easily. But the rules about how online shops work aren’t very good right now. This makes some businesses and people who buy stuff online worried. They want better rules to make online shopping safe and smooth.
Identifying Your Product and Market
Tips for Selecting Products to Sell Online in Pakistan
1. Thorough Market Research
Before choosing what to sell online, it’s really important to look at what’s already popular in the country. Check out what other sellers are offering, how they’re pricing their products, and what people are saying about them. This helps find gaps and opportunities to stand out.
2. Understanding Your Customers
Knowing who you want to sell to is a big deal. If you understand what they need and like, it’s easier to pick something that they’ll be interested in buying.
3. Picking High-Demand Products
Choosing things that a lot of people want but aren’t easily available can be a good move. Sometimes, focusing on a specific group’s needs or a unique part of the market can help make more sales.
4. Keeping Up with What People Like
It’s good to know what’s trending in Pakistan and making sure that the stuff you want to sell fits in with the country’s culture and values.
5. Seasonal Factors Matter
Some things are more in demand during specific times, like holidays or seasons. So, considering products that match these times can be a smart move.
6. Check Out the Competition
Seeing what other sellers are doing and figuring out where they might be missing something can help make your products stand out.
7. Choosing the Right Place to Sell
There are popular online platforms in Pakistan where you can sell your stuff, like Daraz, Foodpanda, and Zameen. These places have a lot of users, making it easier for you to find buyers.
How to Start Your Own Online Store in Pakistan
Setting up an online store in Pakistan is exciting! Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you get started:
1. Pick the Right Place to Sell
Choose where you want to sell your stuff. Places like Daraz, Foodpanda, and Zameen are cool spots to put your things up for sale. Lots of people use these places to buy stuff, so it’s a good way to reach them.
2. Make Your Store Special
Make your store look nice and easy to use. People like stores that are pretty and simple to shop in. Also, make sure it works well on phones and computers here in Pakistan.
3. Get Your Stuff to Sell
Now, where do you get your things to sell? You can get stuff from big shops, the people who make it, or other sellers who send things directly to your customers. Just be sure the things you sell are good and follow the rules here.
4. Show Off Your Stuff
Once you have things to sell, you need to put them online. Write down what you’re selling, how much it costs, and take nice pictures so people know what they’re getting.
5. Send Stuff to People
Now, when someone buys something, you need to get it to them. Think about how you’ll pack it, where you’ll keep it, and how you’ll send it to the person who bought it. There are some companies in Pakistan, like TRAX and TCS, that can help you with this.
6. Tell People About Your Store
You need to tell people that your store is open for business. You can put up ads on places like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube. People in Pakistan spend time on these places, so they might see your ads.
Navigating Payment Gateways and Logistics
Pakistan offers a variety of ways for businesses to accept payments online. There are different options available, making it essential for businesses to select the best method for their needs.
Payment Gateways in Pakistan
In Pakistan, businesses can use various payment gateways, which can be categorized into three main types:
Well-known banks like HBL, MCB, and UBL provide services for processing online payments. These payment gateways are considered secure and are managed directly by the banks.
2. Fintech Companies
Companies like Payoneer, JazzCash, and EasyPaisa also offer online payment gateways. These gateways are known for their user-friendliness and convenience.
3. Third-party Gateways
Other options like Keenu and APPS are available, offering diverse payment choices suitable for businesses of any size.
Choosing the Right Payment Gateway
When selecting a payment gateway, businesses should consider several factors:
- Transaction Fees
- Integration Time
- Customer Usage
Moreover, businesses need to check if the fees cover withholding tax, which is approximately 0.16% of the total amount in Pakistan.
Logistics and Delivery Methods
For delivering products to customers, businesses can rely on courier services such as TRAX and TCS. It’s crucial to ensure that the products meet quality standards and comply with local regulations.
To simplify payment and shipping procedures, businesses can:
- Automate their processes
- Use reliable inventory management systems
- Offer various payment methods for customers
Strategies for Effective Product Marketing in Pakistan
1. Social Media Marketing
In Pakistan, to make people interested in what you’re selling, using platforms like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube is really helpful. These places let you show your stuff to the people you want to reach. You can make ads and posts that stand out, work with people who have a lot of followers (influencers), and put money into ads.
2. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Making sure your website shows up when people search online is a big deal. You do this by using the right words that people are looking for, making your website really good, and organizing it in a way that’s easy for people to find what they need.
3. Email Marketing
Sending emails to people who might like what you’re selling is a smart move. You make a list of people, create emails that catch their eye, and give them special deals.
4. Content Marketing
Sharing helpful and interesting stuff is a good way to get people’s attention. You can write articles, make videos, create cool pictures, and post on social media to teach people things and keep them interested.
5. Influencer Marketing
When popular people talk about your products, more folks notice. Teaming up with famous social media people and bloggers can help more people know about what you’re selling.
Overcoming Challenges and Growing Your Online Business
The world of online selling in Pakistan comes with its fair share of challenges. Let’s explore these hurdles and discover smart strategies to overcome them.
1. Lack of Consumer Trust
Challenge: Many folks in Pakistan are hesitant to trust online sellers due to scams and fake products.
Solution: Be honest and clear. Show off your products truthfully, provide top-notch customer service, and make sure your goods are the real deal.
2. Digital Literacy and Connectivity
Challenge: Some people in Pakistan aren’t comfortable with online shopping due to not knowing their way around the digital world or having slow internet.
Solution: Teach them! Launch programs to help folks understand online shopping and work to improve internet access in areas that need it.
3. Payment Challenges
Challenge: Making payments online can be tricky due to limited local payment options.
Solution: Get creative with payments. Encourage digital wallets, give the option to pay cash on delivery, and team up with banks to make online payments smoother.
4. Regulatory and Legal Issues
Challenge: The rules for online selling in Pakistan are still being figured out, leading to potential legal tangles.
Solution: Stay informed! Keep an eye on the rules, get legal advice, and follow the guidelines to make sure you’re on the right side of the law.
Starting your online business in Pakistan is like embarking on a thrilling adventure. There are challenges, but with the right map, sellers can navigate smoothly. By being honest, offering great products, providing excellent service, and staying updated on technology, sellers can conquer the e-commerce world in Pakistan and find success glittering on the other side. Happy selling!