eCommerce in Pakistan
Kaymu welcomes you to the comprehensive report on modern day e-commerce trends in Pakistan. What the future of e-commerce holds in the forthcoming era can be defined by the connected consumers, however Kaymu has created this report based on the geo-targeted e-commerce trends across Pakistan by carrying out an in-depth analysis of the trends demonstrated by the e-commerce community in Pakistan during the recent couple of years. This report intends to educate e-commerce entrepreneurs as well as those who are, in any other way, associated with this rapidly developing industry in the region.
The e-commerce industry is profoundly impacted by the rise of social networks and the proliferation of mobile devices at an enormously large scale. Since mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets have made a vast number of choices and plenty of information available at fingertips, consumers are leaving behind traces and records of their behaviors, preferences and interests; and this report aims to capture and analyze all these trends.
As modern e-commerce strategies across the globe are a result of the online activity of consumers and the resulting data record, it is a good idea for current as well as future e-commerce entrepreneurs to study this report and consequently craft effectual strategies for their online businesses. The market dynamics mentioned in the report are at the epicenter of key developments that we believe, define the e-commerce trends for the modern day and provide a sound basis for future forecasting.
Kaymu, the largest online marketplace of Pakistan aims on providing a single platform to buyers and sellers across the globe to buy/sell products with the ease of a few mouse-clicks. Kaymu has multiple e-commerce domains spread across many countries worldwide. Backed by the world's largest Internet incubator, Rocket Internet, this online marketplace has been successful in generating substantial amount of traffic on all its domains worldwide.
Through the research conducted by Kaymu and the facts collated, it can be observed that the younger population - between 18-34 years - is most actively involved in e-commerce trade, as compared to the rest of population. Moreover, those falling between the age brackets of 25-34 years account for the highest number of users, with the 18-24 bracket falling at second place. One of the most significant reasons for this observation is the fact that people above the age of 35 are less inclined towards technology and its uses, whereas youth between 18-34 years are at forefront of the technological revolution and are more open towards online shopping.
Interest of people in e-commerce among various age brackets in Pakistan
If we look at the overall e-commerce activity in terms of gender and compare the males vs females ratio for e-commerce in Pakistan, we can observe that out of the total e-commerce activities carried out, 70% comprised of males, with females involved in only 30% of the total. However, if we compare the average e-commerce conversion rate1 between the two genders, we will be amazed to figure out that it was nearly similar.
Activity of male vs female in e-commerce across Pakistan
E-commerce Conversion Rate: The percentage of website visitors that actually buy online. For example, if hundred visitors landed on a website and only two of them purchased the product, the e-Commerce conversion rate would be 2%.
Lahore being the capital city of the province of Punjab and the cultural heart of Pakistan, prevails the list of yearly e-commerce activity in the country with 21% of total traffic, and is closely followed by Pakistan's largest metropolitan city Karachi at 20%. Islamabad (the capital city of Pakistan) and Rawalpindi, which are collectively less populated as compared to Lahore and Karachi, stands at third place with 15% of the country's total e-commerce activity each year. Other cities with the highest inclination towards e-commerce following Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad include Gujranwala, Sialkot, Multan, Faisalabad, Peshawar and Rawalpindi respectively.
More than 50% of the e-commerce transactions2 are carried out in three major areas of Pakistan.
- Islamabad & Rawalpindi
Statistics showing geo-targeted e-commerce trends in Pakistan
By classifying modern day e-commerce trends in Pakistan with respect to users' interests, Kaymu observed that technophiles3 lead the list with 8% of the total e-commerce activity in the country, followed by movie lovers at 7%, music lovers at 6%, shutterbugs4 at 5%, TV lovers at 5%, entertainment & celebrity news junkies at 4%, avid readers with 4%, sports fans at 3%, shopaholics / shoppers at 3% and political junkies with 3% share of the total e-commerce activity across Pakistan.
There are several other classifications that consist of less than 3% share of the shopping profile. The following graph shows more than 50% of the major affinity categories for e-commerce in Pakistan.
E-commerce trends in Pakistan with respect to affinity
Technophiles: People who are enthusiastic about new technology.
Shutterbugs: Enthusiastic photographers, who love to take and upload pictures. Work around photography and may also work as professional photographers.
Movie Lovers: People who love to watch movies on a regular basis, are up-to-date on upcoming movies and have in-depth knowledge about movie celebrities.
Music Lovers: People interested in a specific type of music genre (for example: rock, trance, classical, or pop), watching movies, are up-to-date with music industry news and events.
TV Lovers: People who follow television dramas and shows on a regular basis.
E-commerce trends across Pakistan pertaining to in-market segment have remained much inclined towards electronics and mobile phones lately. The facts show that online customers in Pakistan are mostly interested in searching about and purchasing Consumer Electronics & Mobile Phones, followed by Employment Queries, Online Education & Counseling, Sale / Purchase & Information Gathering for Autos & Vehicles, Computers & Accessories, Financial Services, Laptops & Notebooks, Motor Vehicles by Brand, Test Preparation & Tutoring and last but not the least, Apparel & Accessories.
E-commerce trends in Pakistan with respect to market segment
While conducting analysis of Pakistan's e-commerce trends with respect to user behavior, it has been concluded that the conversion rate of returning visitors5 has remained double than the first time visitors.
To be more specific: it is 98.5% more than that of the new customers.
Moreover, the average session duration for the new visitors6 is 3 minutes, whereas for the returning visitors, it is 5 minutes. There are several reasons for high session time7 and better conversion rate for return visitors. A few important reasons are:
Out of the total e-commerce visits in a year, 56% are estimated to be new visitors, whereas the remaining 44% are returning visitors. One of the reasons for considerably good percentage of returning visitors is the low number of e-commerce competitors in Pakistan. Visitors have limited options available for online shopping stores.
|User Type||Sessions8||Avg. session duration||E-commerce conversion rate|
|New visitor||56%||00:03:00||1.20% - 1.60%|
|Returning visitor||44%||00:05:00||2.60% - 3.00%|
New vs returning visitors segmentation with session duration and conversion rate
Visitors who spend 0 to 10 seconds on e-commerce websites account for the highest percentage. As per findings, reasons for spending less than 10 seconds for the majority percentage of the traffic are:
Most of the e-commerce transactions fall under 61-600 seconds sessions.
|Session Duration||Session||Page Views|
The data is read as: (example - first row): 58% of the sessions on e-commerce websites in Pakistan stays between 0 to 10 seconds and consisting 11% of total page views
Bounce Rate: The percentage of visitors at a particular website who navigated away from the site after viewing only one page.
With regards to frequency, all sessions with count one are new visitors on e-commerce websites, however those with count equal to or greater than 2 are repeat visitors Kaymu e-commerce survey10 indicates that:
|Count of Sessions||Sessions||Page Views|
|1 - 2||71%||64%|
|3 - 5||16%||18%|
|6 - 8||5%||7%|
When it comes to operating systems used for browsing e-commerce websites in Pakistan, Microsoft Windows leads the list and accounts for 77% of the total sessions, the average time duration remains 00:04:30 and the e-commerce conversion rate is approx. 2%. Microsoft Windows is closely followed by the Android operating system with 15% sessions, 00:04:40 average session duration and 1.2% e-commerce conversion rate The rest of e-commerce traffic in Pakistan comes from other operating systems including iOS, Macintosh, Linux, Windows Phone, BlackBerry & Nokia OS.
With rapid evolution of technology and the advent of new and advanced software, people make use of different internet browsers to surf the World Wide Web. Our research reveals that Google Chrome is the most popular internet browser in Pakistan with 58% of the total e-commerce visitors using this software, followed by Mozilla Firefox at second place with 17% of total e-commerce visitors in Pakistan. The rest of the 25% e-commerce traffic in Pakistan comes via Android Browser, Internet Explorer, Safari, Opera, Opera Mini, UC Browser, Safari (inn-app) and Maxthon respectively. Moreover, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Android Browser also lead the list of the average session duration of e-commerce users, respectively.
As a result of the research conducted by Kaymu with regards to devices used for browsing e-commerce websites each year, personal computers such as desktops and laptops lead the list with 79% of total annual traffic followed by mobile phones and tablets with 17% and 4% respectively.
E-commerce conversion statistics with respect to devices prove that visitors prefer using mobile devices and tablets to gather product information, conduct research about the product specs and compare prices, whereas they find it more convenient to use desktop personal computers and laptops to finally make an online purchase.
Further analyzing mobile traffic (which is 17% of overall e-commerce traffic in Pakistan) reveals that Apple iPhones remain the most used mobile device with 12% of the total sessions followed by Apple iPads with 9% sessions and Samsung Galaxy S3 with 3% sessions. Other Samsung phones, QMobile Noir and many other smartphones were also used throughout the year in e-commerce sessions and conversions. Even though Android phones are more common and affordable yet Apple iOS devices are leading the mobile e-commerce market.
Furthermore it is imperative to note that e-commerce traffic from mobile devices in Pakistan is expected to increase due to the recent launch of 3G and 4G services in Pakistan.
Free channels are, however more conversion oriented because unpaid visitors have somehow themselves initiated the buying process, or showed interest to know more about the product(s). The interest is initiated by subscribing to the newsletters, establishing connection with the website's social pages, or specifically searching for a product on search engines. Search engines publish paid advertisements on search engine result pages (SERPs), but, organic results are considered more trustworthy and authentic as compared to the paid ads; this, in turn, results in better conversion rate for organic traffic as compared to the paid search ads.
Let's explain each channel to have better insight of each traffic medium.
As per findings of Kaymu Pakistan, hardly 13% of the total online customers would prefer to buy from the website they have ordered before (unless and until they had some issue with product quality or delivery). Rest 87% would like to conduct online research and make price comparisons, look for package deals and special promotional offers before they could finally make a decision.
Brand loyal VS Promiscuous Customers
Pakistani people usually make online purchases between 2:00 PM and 8:00 PM. According to the research, almost half of the total e-commerce sessions in Pakistan are recorded at timings between 2:00 PM and 8:00 PM.
Apart from the traffic, this peak time also has the maximum e-commerce transactions. The time during afternoon and evening has maximum traffic and orders as there is no considerable fluctuation in conversion rates of hours with more traffic.
Traffic during hour of day
If we have a look at the peak web traffic days in Pakistan, we'll figure out that Saturday remains the busiest day in terms of e-commerce traffic followed by Friday and Thursday. The reason for Saturday to be the peak traffic day is that it is the end of the week in Pakistan and people could spare a bit of time for fulfilling their shopping needs.
>Change in traffic depending on the days of week
Since e-commerce traffic does not define the peak conversion days, Kaymu conducted a separate research and collected facts and figures to find out that Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday are relatively better e-commerce conversion days in Pakistan with Wednesday leading the list, followed closely by Friday, Tuesday and Thursday respectively.
Change in conversion rate depending on the day of week
It has been found, there is a significant impact of seasons on the types of products sold. The sales of fashion products greatly decline during the change of season. For instance, the sale of T-Shirts leads the list of best selling products throughout the first three quarters of the year however their sales decline all of a sudden as a result of the winter's arrival; the t-shirts are replaced by hoodies and shrugs.
Each year, men's clothing led the list in the first quarter, followed by mobile accessories and electronics.
During the second quarter, Men's Clothing continued to prevail the list of top selling products followed by watches and electronics.
Men's clothing remained dominant even in the third quarter, which made them the hottest selling product across online shopping community of Pakistan. Wrist watches were the top selling products after clothing
In the fourth and last quarter, Men's winter clothing peaked in the list of top selling products in Pakistan followed by women's clothing.
Just like seasons have their impact on the e-commerce transactions around the world, the special occasions also greatly boost up the sales. The special occasions in Pakistan such as Eid-ul-Adha, Eid-ul-Fitr, New Year and Wedding Season provide great opportunities to e-commerce entrepreneurs across Pakistan for generating adequate profits and sales. The wedding season in Pakistan is usually during the months between November and February.
There is a considerable boost in sales of occasion related products each year. For example, during both Eids in Pakistan, sales of "Shalwar Kameez" and traditional footwear (specifically "Peshawari Chappals") increases. The following Google trends graph shows four spikes, two large spikes representing more searches during Eid-Ul-Fitr, whereas small spikes shows web search trend during Eid-Ul-Azha.
During cricket world cup 2015 (end of first quarter and start of second quarter), there was larger number of sales for Pakistan cricket t-shirts, cricket bats, balls, cricket kits and accessories. Also, sales of football related products started to grow by the end of second quarter of 2014, owing to the upcoming FIFA World Cup.
The top payment methods in Pakistan are:
As per Google Trends for the year 2013, 2014 and 2015. Mobiles and electronics remain much more in demand across Pakistan as compared to watches, clothing, and laptops.
Top & rising web searches related to shopping across Pakistan, from 2013 to 2015.
Top trending (rising) 'Shopping' related keywords in Pakistan for 2014 include "Kamyu", "Kamyu Online Shopping", "Kaymu" and "Kaymu Online Shopping" leading the list as Breakout11 keywords.
'Mobile' related top search queries in Pakistan, for the year 2014 include "mobile price", "what mobile", "Q mobile", "mobile movies", "nokia mobile", "Samsung mobile" and "Samsung". "Mobile price" being the top searched keyword of the year makes it evident that a large number of consumers visited online shopping stores and marketplaces just to find out about latest mobile phone models hitting the market and their prices.
Laptops are among the top searched electronics products in Pakistan along with the mobile phones. As with mobile phones, people also search for laptop prices, which is why "laptop price" is second most searched query after "laptop in pakistan", followed by "hp", "hp laptop", "dell", "laptop dell".
The rising (trending) keywords in Pakistan with regards to the laptop category are "laptop scheme 2014", "pm laptop", "pm laptop scheme", "prime minister laptop" and "hec laptop scheme". Reason for this is the launch of Chief Minister of Punjab - Shahbaz Sharif"s free laptop distribution scheme for deserving students across universities in Pakistan.
Watches are not just among the top searched items in Pakistan, but are also among the top selling online products. The top searches with regards to watches include "watches in pakistan", "rolex","rolex watches", "rado", "rado watches" and "men watches".
The top trending (rising) keywords with regards to watches in Pakistan include "watches for girls", "girls watches", "online watches pakistan" and "beautiful watches" respectively.
Clothing remains the leading product category in Pakistan's e-commerce sector. It has been observed that T-Shirts, Hoodies, Shrugs, Shirts, Shalwar Kameez etc. are at the forefront of sales during all four quarters of each year. The top searched keyword for clothing is "pakistan clothing" followed by "ego clothing", "ego", "clothing brands", "men clothing", "fashion clothing", "junaid jamshed" and "junaid jamshed clothing" respectively.
The rising (trending) keywords for this category in Pakistan include "junaid jamshed" followed by "cambridge", "cambridge clothing", "generation clothing", "junaid jamshed clothing" and "limelight" respectively.
The following graph shows overall search trends for Pakistan on Google.com.pk. A closer look on the trend shows more than double volume as compared to the start of 2013, which means, at-least 100% growth in search engine searches across Pakistan.
As per Google Transparency Report, fraction of worldwide traffic for Google search in Pakistan is normalized roughly between 20 and 45.How its calculated: The graphs give a representation of the ratio of Pakistan's search request rate to the worldwide request rate. For each time period and Google product, Google divides the traffic for each geographic region by the total worldwide traffic, giving a number between 0 and 1. Then, its multiplied all numbers by a constant, which normalizes but does not change the shape of the graphs.
According to the in-depth e-commerce analysis conducted by Kaymu Pakistan, it can be concluded that the average conversion rate from all traffic channels lays within 1.20% to 3.0% (reference: New vs Return Traffic). This conversion rate is established when the customers add products to the cart and confirm the order.
However, there are also some online visitors who add products to the cart but do not actually confirm it. The visitors, who do not confirm the order after adding products to the cart, account for about 27% to 37% of the converting traffic. These visitors spend time on e-commerce websites and add products to the cart but log out and abandon their shopping carts. On the other hand, 63% to 73% of the remaining converting visitors reach the final phase of payment and complete the purchase procedure.
Estimated percentage of confirmed and paid orders
Pakistani e-Commerce market is expected to achieve more than 72% growth in e-commerce transactions in the near future. This consensus is based on 10% exponential growth in e-commerce transactions for each passing quarter.
Effective growth during 2014 and expected growth for 2015 and 2016