Complete Guide: How to start an online store in Pakistan?
Here's a comprehensive step-by-step guide!
Smartphones, social media, and other gadgets have majorly contributed to the growing use of the internet. This increasing popularity has given birth to internet trading; businesses are moving from the physical space to cyberspace. Several entrepreneurs are flowing with the tide and entering the e-commerce market to take their business to the next level.
Why should you invest in E-commerce in Pakistan?
- Growth of technology: The digital world is picking up quickly in Pakistan, making it a great place to start any online enterprise. Moreover, the government of Pakistan is trying its best to create an environment where online transactions can thrive.
- 5G broadband network and the availability of smartphones: Pakistan is set to launch into the 5G network broadband to facilitate an even stronger and faster Internet connection. The prices of smartphones have also been reduced, giving a more significant number of people access to the internet.
- Adoption of digital cash: Online cash transactions have gained tremendous popularity. Many payment gateways have emerged as a result of this. And with the ability to transfer funds online, e-commerce will become much stronger and deeply rooted in the system.
- Advantageous environment for entrepreneurs: Pakistan has a great entrepreneurial culture with a government that encourages entrepreneurship. This has encouraged the growth of small and medium entrepreneur businesses in Pakistan.
- Great export system: Pakistan is known for its exports. Each export item’s revenue is massive, making e-commerce platforms very attractive to begin exporting.
Step-by-Step Guide to starting an E-Commerce business in Pakistan
#1: Do your research
Before you venture into any business, you need to do a lot of research. Ask yourself these questions:
- Who is my target audience?
- What is their financial capacity?
- What are their preferences?
- How much do I need to start up my online trading business?
- What are the thriving businesses in Pakistan?
#2: Decide on what you wish to sell
It’s always best to specialize in selling a particular product. Having a major product will help you to channel all your energy into getting as many customers for that product as possible. You can also avoid the distraction of diversifying your marketing strategy for each product. As time goes by, you can expand and bring in other products.
#3: Follow the trend
Some products are regarded as being in trend; they sell fast. You need to identify these products and begin selling them. You can start selling at a lower price to attract customers and gradually increase the price when the demand is high. In Pakistan, some products that are always in high demand include grocery items and gadgets.
#4: Get a reliable wholesale distributor
As a retailer, you need to buy the products in bulk; otherwise, you’ll make little to no profit. Therefore, you need someone trustworthy to buy your products in bulk. It’s advisable to establish a solid relationship with your supplier, so they don’t disappoint you.
#5: Decide on the method of shipping
There are several means to ship purchased products, for example, air, truck, rail freight, etc. Pick a reliable and affordable way of getting your products delivered to your customers.
#6: Create a method for safekeeping your inventory
When you buy your products in bulk, you’ll need a place to keep them until they’re purchased. This has to be a secure place where your items won’t get stolen or destroyed. This is important because you can’t sell destroyed or damaged products.
Alternatively, you can try out drop shipping. This way, you won’t need a storehouse to keep your inventory, as dropshipping involves passing a consumer’s order directly to the wholesaler. You act as the middleman who gathers people’s orders and then passes them on to the supplier. The products are then shipped directly from the suppliers to each consumer.
#7: Choose the right channel to get your products across to consumers
You can create a website where you sell your retail goods. You can also use social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and the likes to get your goods to the consumers. If you decide on creating a website, you’ll need to do the following:
- You need to buy a domain name and get good hosting services for your website.
- You need a registered name, and you also need to install a sound content management system (CMS) like WordPress.
If you are buying a website, then make sure you:
- Take note of the website extension. Do you prefer ‘.pk’ or ‘.com’?
- Buy a good domain name. This is what gives your customers their first impression of your business.
- Make sure you purchase a hosting service from a trustworthy company.
- Install secure socket layer (SSL). This tells you that your website is secure and safe for usage.
- Buy a website with a great theme. This will make it very easy for your customers to maneuver their way around your website and purchase whatever they want.
#8: Start advertising your products
The importance of social media advertising cannot be overemphasized. If you’re running a website, make sure the content on your website is search engine friendly, meaning that it must be SEO optimized. This will generate traffic and may translate to more product sales. You can advertise by offering your customers discounts to raise the popularity of your products.
6 Online E-Commerce Business ideas to start in Pakistan
- Children’s clothing: Due to the steady increase in population, children’s clothing is always in demand.
- Sales of footwear materials: Pakistan has a high rate of raw materials production for footwear. You can export these raw materials to shoemaking companies.
- Trading of gadgets: IT is gaining ground in Pakistan, and many people are beginning to see the opportunities available in this sector. You can import the gadgets and sell them on your e-commerce store at a higher price.
- Marketing of textile materials: Pakistan is a large producer of textiles. Even with the pandemic, the textile production sector wasn’t affected. You can make a lot of money shipping textiles to manufacturers.
- Sales of personal protective equipment (PPE): Pakistan bagged export orders worth 100 million dollars from the sale of PPE due to Covid-19. You can tap into this market and begin selling or exporting protective gear via an e-commerce store.
- Selling herbal medicine: The global herbal medicine market has an excellent money value. You can carve a niche by selling herbal medicine locally and internationally.
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