Can Pakistani Retail Stores Compete With E-Commerce Sites?


Pakistan has observed a massive growth in the e-commerce industry during the last year. A dramatic increase in sales and customer purchase has been observed. Unlike the past years, the traditional industries also show interest in this trend and have begun a partnership with the online marketplaces to increase their sales and profits.

The ongoing growth in e-commerce revenue is expected to rise up to $1 billion by the year 2020. This creates a question for retail shops. Will they be able to compete with the swamping trend? Let’s discuss this.

How Big is the E-Commerce Market in Pakistan?

First, take a look at the size of e-commerce in Pakistan. This will give an actual idea of the level of competition online and retail stores hold.

To have a better understanding, let’s subdivide the e-commerce market into smaller parts so that we could understand the function of each part in a better way.

  1. Marketplaces/Multiple Category Stores

Online marketplaces are the best source of buying everything at a single place. After the success of in Pakistan, the retail stores have observed a competition with them. Apart from that, there are other online shopping sites including Cheezmall and

Facebook pages and communities also serve as marketplaces and attract more customers because the updates from the pages appear on their timeline; thereby decreasing their search and shopping time.

  1. Brand Stores

Brands like Khaddi, GulAhmed, and Generations have made their separate brand stores. Usually, the owners upload most of their collection on their online brand stores rather than showing them on the Facebook page.

  1. Food Market

We all love EatOye and FoodPanda! These brands have almost monopolized the online food market in Pakistan.

  1. Traveling and Ticketing

You can now book online tickets to PIA, AirBlue, and Shaheen airlines through services like Jovago.

  1. Rides

Online marketing has made not only shopping easier, but it has also comforted our traveling. In Pakistan, most of the cities don’t have a sound public transport system and having rides like Careem and Uber is just a blessing.

  1. Classified

Not just shopping, you can now search and apply for jobs as well through and People are also buying properties through the Internet via services like

What Challenges Retail Stores are Facing After the Success of Online Shopping?

Since online marketplaces have made shopping easier than ever, the retail stores surely, do face a competition and challenges, too. The online shopping saves both time and energy, provide a wide range of variety, and hold several other benefits. However, if I say that retail stores have lost their worth because of it, then it would be an understatement. Due to the cons of online shopping like an inability to look, feel, touch, and try a product in person, there is a massive population who still prefers retail stores.

There are risks in online shopping as you aren’t sure the product that is going to be delivered would be the exact same as the one you ordered. Therefore, some people are never satisfied and go for outdoor shopping.


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