In its “2018 Connected Commerce” report published last October, renowned American data firm Nielsen approximated that 82% of Pakistani consumers living in urban areas with adequate Internet access purchased merchandise through e-commerce channels.
The development of a National e-Commerce Policy Framework by the Ministry of Commerce indicates that the Government of Pakistan is also acknowledging the growing potential of e-commerce to influence the future market landscape.
PakWired has executed research to rank the Top 10 most popular online shopping forums in Pakistan. Before we share our findings, it is imperative here to share with readers the framework through which we compiled our findings.
- Search results against the entered keywords “pakistan online shopping” were analysed on Google, being the world’s largest and most influential search engine. A list of ten unique Pakistan-origin domain names (forums) was separated.
- Contrary to the standard practice of basing website rankings as a yardstick for popularity, a count highlighting average monthly site visits from January 2019 till September 2019 was used to quantify popularity per given month. A numerical figure representing average monthly website visitors in 2019 (January till September) was sourced from US-based data firm WebsiteIQ.
- Facebook and Twitter are two of the most widely-used social media platforms for brand engagement. Number of “followers” (not “likes”) from Facebook pages was extracted; “followers” are given more weightage than simple page likers because they choose to display the page updates on their personal timelines (representing actual human preference). Twitter follower count was used as well. Hence, a website’s Facebook and Twitter followers combined represent social media popularity.
- Website average visitors (Jan-Sep 2019) were added to social media popularity (Facebook and Twitter followers) to generate a final estimated figure representing the popularity count.
Our research reveals that Daraz is the most popular online shopping platform in Pakistan, capturing almost half the share in comparison to other competitors.
The Top 10 Chart
Following is a detailed breakdown of each Pakistan-based online shopping platform along with their respective assessments and grading:-
Esajee’s was established in Rawalpindi during British colonial rule in 1901. By September 2001, its second retail store was opened in Lahore. Since 2007, “Esajee Solutions” was setup to emplace the brand presence online through market open source software. Today, Esajee’s operates six outlets offering a wide variety of imported gourmet food stuffs and products.
Research reveals that web traffic comprises the largest share of Esajee’s popularity whereas Twitter following is negligible. The high Facebook count can be attributed to niche product marketing within Facebook through innovative tab placements allowing consumers to shop directly from the page.
Social Media Following: 37,000+
Average Monthly Web Traffic: 41000+
Sum Total: 78,800+ followers/ visitors at any given time
Shophive was established as one of the first Pakistani e-commerce companies formed in 2005. Its humble beginnings took start from a garage and a Suzuki pick-up. The idea was to create a website where customers can order stuff online, at the comfort of their home and have desired products delivered to their doorstep.
Research reveals that, surprisingly, Shophive has more following on Facebook than the amount of average monthly website visitors it received between January and September 2019. This is quite an anomaly and indicates that Shophive needs to focus more on increasing web traffic.
Social Media Following: 252,800+
Average Monthly Web Traffic: 197,900+
Sum Total: 450,780+ followers/ visitors at any given time
This online retailer came into being in 2008 with a vision to provide diverse products online with safer payment methods. Homeshopping was nominated as one of the Top 7 OmniChannel retailers of the world including bagging a “Brands of the Year” award.
Research reveals that although Homeshopping has a sizable average monthly web traffic, its Twitter count does not fare well with its growing image. Perhaps something its digital team should consider improving!
Social Media Following: 331,100+
Average Monthly Web Traffic: 433,880+
Sum Total: 765,000+ followers/ visitors at any given time
The company was founded in 2011 and is known for its variety of electronics products especially smartphones.
Research reveals that iShopping has a considerable following on Facebook, larger even than Shophive, but its website traffic is quite low; indicating that genuine product purchasing may not be as voluminous as expected.
Social Media Following: 700,400+
Average Monthly Web Traffic: 244,100+
Sum Total: 944,600+ followers/ visitors at any given time
6. 24Hours PK
The company is a Karachi-based online retailer specialising in makeup and electronics products.
Research clearly indicates that despite its massive popularity on Facebook, 24Hours PK has an insignificant average monthly customer presence online. An examination of its Facebook page suggests most of the “likes” are purchased en masse. Some of the comments by customers do not exhibit satisfaction and they have not been responded even after several weeks, showing lack of interest in consumer feedback.
Social Media Following: 932,190+
Average Monthly Web Traffic: 55,000+
Sum Total: 987,200+ followers/ visitors at any given time
Yayvo is a re-branding effort for TCS Connect, launched in 2012. For those that may be unaware (least likely), TCS is one of the largest and most popular logistics companies in Pakistan having 4,000 couriers and warehouses across Pakistan.
It’s quite telling that a TCS-backed project has such a low average monthly web traffic (figuring just over 170,000 visitors). This speaks volumes about the competition faced by established entities against more recent e-commerce entries who have far less infrastructure.
Social Media Following: 931,800+
Average Monthly Web Traffic: 172,690+
Sum Total: 1,104,500+ followers/ visitors at any given time
Telemart is a brand of Tradelink enterprises, a company having 23 years of excellence in dealing with cellular phones and consumer electronics from all the leading brands through its online shopping platform and brick-and-mortar outlets spread across Pakistan.
Research reveals that Telemart has a more effective average monthly web presence, bypassing even TCS’ Yayvo, but with its unique brand identity, online traffic can be increased substantially.
Social Media Following: 1,526,700+
Average Monthly Web Traffic: 373,980+
Sum Total: 1,900,760+ followers/ visitors at any given time
Goto is based in Karachi and specialises in household merchandise including electronics products.
It’s quite surprising to note that, according to research, Goto’s average monthly website traffic is larger than Telemart.
Social Media Following: 1,596,420+
Average Monthly Web Traffic: 423,160+
Sum Total: 2,019,590+ followers/ visitors at any given time
HamariWeb Store is an innovative venture of HamariWeb.com that aims to provide a real comparative online marketplace to our online users. It is dedicated portal featuring products, price info, and updated deals that targets Pakistani online shoppers. The company claims it has a userbase of 12 million people.
Unfortunately, web traffic analytics for Hamari Web Store’s independent page could not be acquired through any authoritative medium. In this scenario, the parent webpage of HamariWeb was scanned. Not surprisingly, the company has a very significant average monthly web traffic, crossing the 10 million mark. But HamariWeb’s claim of reaching 17 million visits per month is grossly exaggerated (data from Jan-Sep 2019 suggests otherwise). Following on Twitter is dismal.
Social Media Following: 1,174,390+
Average Monthly Web Traffic: 10,390,270+
Sum Total: 11,564,650+ followers/ visitors at any given time
Daraz is a Chinese-owned online marketplace and logistics company which operates in South Asian markets. It was founded in 2012 by a German venture capital company, Rocket Internet. Daraz Group operates e-commerce platforms and logistics services in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Myanmar.
Although Daraz has a negligible average monthly web traffic compared to Hamari Web, its Facebook following is much larger. Research reveals that on a whole, Daraz overtakes Hamari Web’s traffic by almost 6 million per month placing it at the top of our list (there’s also the anomaly caused by lack of traffic stats related to Hamari Web store alone).
Social Media Following: 12,584,220+
Average Monthly Web Traffic: 4,419,750+
Sum Total: 17,004,000+ followers/ visitors at any given time
Additional Interesting Findings
- Daraz has the largest Facebook and Twitter following.
- Hamari Web has the largest average monthly traffic.
Note: Findings based on data collected on 18th October 2019