BY ALI NAQVI –
Change, at any stage, is never an outcome of a single factor. The changing trends of shopping in Pakistan can also be attributed to new developments at economic, political and social levels. Digital revolution, triggered by internet is making online shopping indispensable for all of us.
In the last several years, since the advent of 3G/4G mobile connectivity, online shopping trends are becoming a major indicator for brands to devise their marketing strategy and shift to digital marketing.
According to global e-market experts online shopping is around 10 percent of the overall retail shopping. Though the percentage is not seemingly impressive yet the graph is steadily rising with the passage of time.
Pakistan can become the most responsive country to online marketplace. The number of internet users in the country are multiplying each year, thanks to the android smart phone handsets that have brought the world in the palm of a user’s hand. Smart phone users in Pakistan are approximately 55.5 million and counting.
With social media access these 5.5 million people, consciously or unconsciously, are influenced a great deal by what they see in their daily social media feed. Their interactive mobile touch screens lure them into becoming impulsive buyers. Online stores like Daraz, Foodpanda, Shophive, Yavo etc are gaining popularity. Olx, Zameen.com and PakWheels have become synonymous for buying cars, property and other commodities.
These online shopping trends has raised red flags for a majority of brands. If not buying, online world is certainly playing a decisive role in making the mind of the consumers before they commit themselves to a specific product.
This is how conventional marketing which is way too expensive is giving way to digital marketing. Big FMCGs like Coke, Pepsi, Unilever, P&G and clothing brands like Khaadi, Breakout, Gul Ahmed, Junaid Jumshaid and many others are creating digital strategies to tap the potential of online world.
Advertising agencies will also need to adapt to these changing dynamics. JWT as a conventional advertising agency was shut down worldwide to make room for Grey and Wunderman Thompson, both digital agencies. Small digital agencies are popping up from different metropolitans of the country in search of business.
One major hurdle in the spread of digital marketing in Pakistan is the dearth of digital marketing experts in the field. The clients, especially the local ones have little or no understanding of the dynamics of evolving digital marketing. The most important thing is that Pakistani market is awake to the emerging power of online marketing.