The trend of online shopping has been declining, after recording a substantial spike amidst the lockdown. Now Pakistan buyers are slowly returning to shopping at physical stores. But the digital platforms are hopeful that with time buyers will get back to online shopping.
At a media briefing on Tuesday, Daraz Pakistan Chief Marketing Officer Ammar Hassan underlined that conversion rate of the platform registered a 25% hike during lockdown.
According to the report, conversion rate is the difference between the number of people who visit a website per day and those who make a purchase. The nationwide lockdown imposed in late March was a very tough time for businesses but it proved to be beneficial for the company because sales of dFresh segment increased ninefold, said Hassan.
dFresh is the department that deals with the sale of fresh produce such as fruits and vegetables.
Daraz Pakistan Managing Director Ehsan Saya said, “Around 800,000 people visited the e-commerce website but not all of them made purchases. The number of people who made purchases from the platform increased 25% during lockdown due to the pandemic and subsequent closure of markets.”
That trend of online shopping gathered pace after the lockdown was imposed, he said. At its annual event, ie 11/11, the platform expects 2.5 million visitors in 2020 compared to 1.8 million in 2019. The conversion rate was better now than it was before Covid-19, he said, adding that the company’s October targets had already been met.
Saya added that after the spread of Covid-19, demand for products grew on the website but limited capacity for enhanced operation and hurdles emerging from the lockdown compromised the service. Initially, the Sindh government decided to shut all markets including e-commerce platforms and the company had to explain that continuation of e-commerce activities would mitigate the impact of lockdown, hence, they should be allowed to operate, he pointed out.
During the lockdown, 50,000 new sellers were registered on the platform from 88 cities of Pakistan, said Saya. In the past three years, the platform created 60,000 to 80,000 jobs.
The platform has launched a new service for the sellers, which provides them the facility of storage and dispatching their merchandise given that the sellers can provide products in bulk to Daraz. He added that 25% of the sellers were currently utilising the facility while the company targeted to inflate the number to 40%.
The company also launched Dexport, a platform for exporters to connect with Alibaba. So far, 80 exporters have signed up and the company has entered into talks with the Ministry of Commerce and Trade Development Authority of Pakistan for subsidy because it has a fee of around $2,000 for registration.
Saya stated, “Pakistani exporters ship products to the US and Europe; China is in the neighborhood, hence, our exporters should gain access to this market.”