E-COMMERCE IN PAKISTAN

(ALI MOAZZAM, )

In 21st Century in which we all are living technology is become a necessity and therefore, its application in business and commerce are not a matter of choice but a matter of compulsion. This is why the global competition could be faced with the five vital components namely quality, cost, convenience, communication and time could be attainable if we make transactions electronically. These five facets are also of paramount significance when we have to face stiff and throat cutting competition. Since small and medium sized businesses form a major part of the developing economies, E-commerce has great potential of growth at both state and individual level. Pakistan’s economy is no different. Pakistani government realized this opportunity and started Information Technology (IT) and E-commerce initiative as early as 2000, where banks were expected to lead the way but it faced a number of hindrances in its successful implementation and currently ranks as the second lowest adopter (40%) of E-commerce. However, statistics show that internet users have been growing at an amazing rate. In Pakistan (18.5% of people using Internet and 2.6% of the people of Asia) and it ranks 8th in the top ten countries of Asia, with regard to usage of Internet. E-Commerce is especially good for entrepreneurship as it requires lesser amount of initial investment than brick and mortar business. But it was seen that Pakistani culture is such that it does not encourage entrepreneurship. Low literacy rate was seen as an impediment in E-Commerce. However, the findings pointed out that it was more important to target people having internet connection and literacy as well. Once it becomes popular there, then measures should be taken to find ways to spread it throughout Pakistan. However, another aspect of literacy which did matter was computer literacy. Many people have a fear of unknown when it comes to technology and that is a main problem. Lastly, respondents were of the opinion that Pakistan seems to be really low on “trust”. Buyers don’t trust sellers and vice versa. Credit card misuse, overpricing and selling substandard goods and misinformation from the buyers‟ side come under the category of trust problems. This contrasts with the fact that “trust” has been identified as a main key characteristic in the success of E-Commerce. In a country like Pakistan, where the customer service is very low, Internet presence may help businesses to increase and improve on it. While having a brick and mortar presence can solve several trust issues and can especially be a convenient way for loyal customers and further, building loyalty. E-Commerce should focus on people with a computer and an internet connection and specifically, the generation that is already comfortable with internet and computers. Besides this E-Commerce should not only be seen as a source of high revenue, rather a necessity to keep up with the global trend. A good way to achieve this is by building partnerships between organizations and to make E-Commerce popular. This is already happening in offline businesses in many ways. E-Commerce needs to do the same for building trust and credibility and introducing new brands and should try to create associations. This can be done by allowing some products, discounts or deals to their members of their “online club”. Credibility should be built through reviews done by prestigious universities, famous magazines and credible people whom the consumers trust. It is more likely that people will buy brands they already trust without physically inspecting them. Therefore, they should be encouraged to buy them online.The issue central to the success of E-Commerce is customer service. The organizations need to improve their customer service to secure their trust and credibility. Universities and educational institutions should take initiative to make their students and faculty comfortable in using E-Commerce since those are the people who would be building the future of commerce. Government should also take steps in this regard as it can be most beneficial with respect to the CEPC scenario. It is the only platform for both small & large businesses to increase their revenue and to interact with large variety of costumers around the globe. E-Commerce is the Future of Pakistan’s economy. We should focus on it to boost our Nation economically.

 

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19 May, 2018 Views: 365

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