The latest e-commerce buzzword in Pakistan

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A nation previously unaware of the clutches of the World Wide Web has recently delved into a new era where businesses find themselves unable to prosper unless an internet presence has been established.

Electronic devices like smartphones and portable computers have found a home in the everyday life of the Pakistani people, paired with the widespread availability of the internet, providing a fertile ground for the growth of e-commerce. 

Since 2017, the trends depict that people have become more comfortable with purchasing goods and services online. Brands like Daraz.pk, Cheetay, OLX, and FoodPanda, along with an array of others, cater to this newfound desire. From products ranging from food to healthcare, internet users find everything they need just a touch away.

For example, Cheetay caters all the needs of the consumers by delivering food, beauty products, books, and health care products. Cheetay’s all-inclusive delivery categories have entered Karachi now, after winning the hearts of people living in Lahore and Islamabad.

The dependence on online retailing is predicted to grow even further, as every year has pointed towards the expansion of online service providers. The internet is now considered to be a safer mode for the inception of any business, as it incurs lower costs and offers a wider range of options to the customer. 

Pakistani businesses, despite being slow to jump on the e-commerce bandwagon, have shown an upward and steady climb. This change isn’t just limited to retail – different facilities have started milking its benefits too.

Many banks now allow payments to be made through online apps just as different lines of work, like airlines, offer tickets to be bought from ticketing websites. Websites catering to tourism have also witnessed a boom in recent years, ranging from hotel booking to trip advising to vehicle renting.

Sites like TripAdvisor, Airbnb, and Sastaticket make travelling a lot more affordable and accessible to a wider group of people. Brands specifically made for the internet have prospered the most. One such brand is Cheetay which was created in the year 2016 in Lahore and in just 3 years has managed to expand to the major cities of Islamabad and Karachi. 

Social media websites, including Twitter and Instagram, are important tools in promoting the usage of online retailing. As traditional advertisement using print media is now less preferred, social media platforms offer creative ways for the firms to market themselves, like through the use of influencer’s. 

Furthermore, promotional codes, various discounts and numerous amounts of deals offer incentives for the people to dabble in online retailing. Shopping from home often provides customers with cheaper products, in contrast to going to an outlet and buying goods.

Although e-commerce has shown a significant expansion in the past few years, there is still a long way to go. Brands that already exist and those that are newly emerging on the internet are continually improving the way e-commerce is seen in Pakistan.

With changing attitudes and a greater population having access to the internet, there is an expected advancement in the way the Pakistani economy is going to work in the future.

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