The trend of online shopping is gaining traction in Pakistan because of the massive promotional usage of social media marketing as a tool to attract consumers to buy goods and products of their choice. With the relentless growth projection, compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of over 100% and internet access for all Pakistanis, it is becoming cheaper and easier for consumers to shop online.
According to a report, only 30% of the Pakistani online consumers are women and rest of the 70% are men. These figures are substantially low because of various reasons. There are some concerns about e-commerce in Pakistan that trouble women more than men. Women’s intentions to buy something online are largely dependent on an exercise of first-hand narration from a trusted friend who shopped online. So, word of mouth plays a strong role in their intentions to shop online.
When women have to shop online, it is mostly because of fashion related items. Even though she would prefer to shop physically ideally but if she faces some hindrance or wants to avoid all the fuss of going to shopping, she would bring out her mobile or fire up her laptop and start looking for the item she wants on the internet. They also shop online if they cannot find something similar in the stores which she knows for a fact that they will only be available online and are in trend.
Pakistanis usually shop online between 2:00 PM to 8:00 PM. Furthermore, the mode of delivery and payment method also plays a big role in a woman’s intention to shop online. Despite the availability of other payment methods, cash on delivery (COD) is the most common and vastly used mode of payment among e-commerce users of Pakistan. This is because of the physical association factor. As long as they don’t actually see and touch their products, they will be skeptical of their money being lost or robbed. This is why COD is considered to be a convenient and safe mode of payment. The delivery services enable women to avoid heavy traffic, extremely hot and cold weather and arguments with the salesmen. The most commonly used courier service providers among online stores for their order deliveries include TCS, Blue Ex, and Leopard.

The female consumer intention to shop online has increased but not fast enough. With top clothing and accessories brands introducing online stores, female consumers are more likely to shop online. Brands like Khaadi, Borjan, Élan, and Gul Ahmad etc. have launched their online stores thus providing the opportunity to women from different areas to order their desired products online. They also benefit from a competitive advantage in terms of brand loyalty and brand recognition. But if the situation is to order online from a platform like or, then they are inclined to think twice about that.
Dedicated E-Commerce Platforms for Women
The internet has allowed women to earn a livelihood from the comforts of their homes all over the world. One such platform that provides such facilities for women is Sheops. It is the only marketplace dedicated to women in Pakistan. Sheops allows women to buy and sell products without the fear of harassment and scam. It began as a Facebook community and turned out to be such a success that the business set up its own website. Here, women can open virtual shops to sell food, fashion, beauty products, lifestyle, clothes, handicraft items, pretty much everything of women use. When they receive an order, they just have to prepare the order, courier service representatives collect the order from their houses or working spaces and deliver it to the customer. After the order has been delivered, the amount is paid in full through pre-agreed means. Hundreds of women have started their business from scratch and are now successfully running their businesses and supporting their families.
There is so much untapped talent in Pakistan, especially in women that need to be polished and provided with opportunities, so that they can rise up in the e-commerce community and lift the economy of Pakistan with them.
E-commerce has emerged in spite of all the barriers such as misconception, lack trust in e-commerce in Pakistan, security concerns regarding online transactions, very low access to modern technology, low literacy rates, limited infrastructure, and logistical support. All of this goes to show that the market and timing is perfect for e-commerce in Pakistan. This industry is geared up to create massive waves in the economy of our country, with a colossal scope for innovation and improvement.

Author's Bio: 

The author is a part of one of the fastest growing e-commerce platform.