Experts argue a lack of digital payment choices and market place exploitation hinder digital progress in Pakistan. “There is a lack of trust in the e-commerce market in Pakistan,” said TCS president Saira Awan Malik.
People avoid prepaying online orders and pay cash-on-delivery to inspect products first. She believes that retailers and governments working together could assist gain internet shoppers’ trust.
“The government must protect consumers and their data,” Malik said at the Future of Retail Business Summit 2022.
She said that when customers choose cash-on-delivery, 15% to 20% of goods are returned. Prepaid orders were two to five percent, she added.
She said the country’s e-commerce industry needed to be addressed, and that digital payments were essential for both customers and delivery providers.
P@SHA chairman and co-founder of Fishry.com and Bramerz, Badar Khushnood, said summit that the country’s population has a low proportion of bank accounts.
“Plastic money or credit card penetration was under 1% and debit penetration was as low as 15-20%,” he claimed.
According to Khushnood, the country’s e-commerce market is worth $4 billion, with 10% digital payments and 90% cash on delivery. Around 110 million internet users had a ‘huge potential’ for e-commerce, he said.
He added e-commerce issues exist in Pakistan, where market spaces defraud both local and foreign clients.
Khushnood stated that social commerce – selling via Facebook and Instagram – was expanding in Pakistan. “Around 1-2 million women and micro-business owners sell things on social media.”
He advised SMEs to use a mixed approach when selling online.
“The internet can shut you off at any time. Businesses should have their own website and apps to contact potential buyers through online marketplaces.
Isn’t that your own? You get direct client data. To SMEs, he advised investing in brand equity.
Selling should fix the entire value chain and user experience, he said.
“One key thing I notice is photography. Weak product images discourage shoppers from purchasing.
He added that Pakistani online businesses should go outside their borders to tap into global e-commerce opportunities.