Since the arrival of 3G/4G in Pakistan, the e-commerce industry has seen a major upsurge. The growth has been so rapid that Pakistan’s e-commerce sector is estimated to achieve $1 billion in revenues by 2020. Part of this is due to the ever increasing consumer base with access to the internet, which has crossed 40 million this year, and the introduction of online sales and offers.
Despite the general disapproval of e-commerce practices in Pakistan, millions of potential buyers visit online stores every month. Many key players have established themselves as market leaders but several new ones are attempting to break into the online retail market.
Most successful online retailers are multi-category sellers offering everything from gadgets to groceries. These are followed by large-scale niche vendors or brand-owned direct retail websites.
Let’s take a look at the most popular online stores in Pakistan.
Note: The ranking is based on the popularity of e-commerce stores in general usage rather than customer experience or any other subjective criterion.
Daraz.pk is without any doubt the market leader. Over the years, it has made the right marketing and partnership decisions allowing it to maximise its reach and improve brand name recognition. Today, not only is it the most popular online retailer but also a household name.
Numbers never lie and with 9.3 million unique visitors every month, Daraz.pk takes the top spot in our rankings.
Thanks to a user-friendly and engaging website design, Daraz.pk claims average visit duration of 5 minutes 6 seconds. Each visitor, on average, views 4.48 product pages on the e-commerce store.
Daraz.pk manages to get more than one-third of its users through direct access to its website, another proof of brand awareness. Only a small amount of its user-base comes from Social media and search results. Majority of the people are either redirected from ads or referrals from other websites. A majority of visitors, who come to the website through a search engine, are looking for Daraz’s website link.
Kaymu.pk isn’t a retailer per se but it does host thousands of sellers offering all types of products for the user. It’s rather surprising that Kaymu.pk, even with so many dissatisfied users, is still the second most popular e-commerce store in Pakistan. It gets about 1.1 million discreet users every month. Daraz.pk has acquired Kaymu.pk and reportedly, Kaymu will retire its website and forward all users to Daraz soon, increasing its dominance in the market.
As shown in the breakdown above, most of the visitors get to Kaymu.pk using search engines. About 64% of its user-base comes from random product search-terms on Google and other search engines. Around 10% of its visitors (80% of total referrals) come from Daraz.pk.
On average users spend 5 minutes 59 seconds on Kaymu.pk. Pages per visitor are also high at 5.84. Together, this shows the use of an interactive design which compels users to view lots of products.
A mature and old player in the e-commerce market, HomeShopping.pk has been in the race for very long, however, it only comes in a distant third in the rankings with 886,670 views per month. With its long experience in the market and a decent user-base HomeShopping.pk could have done a lot better with some marketing and brand promotion.
As it’s evident in the traffic breakdown above, HomeShopping.pk gets most of its unique visitors from search engines. Average visit duration is 3 minutes 34 seconds while pages viewed by an average user are 3.34.
If HomeShopping plans to grow, it needs to capitalise on its wide array of products by marketing its brand more aggressively. Website design also needs improvement as the current one isn’t intuitive enough to retain users for long.
Symbios.pk has been in the e-commerce industry for a lot of years now. The retailer is mostly known for its Chinese gadgets and accessories even though it has a relatively decent selection of products. Symbios.pk comes in at fourth with 570,000 views per month.
Traffic breakdown shows that the online store does not market its brand. Almost 70% of its userbase comes from organic search terms. People searching for unique gadgets in Pakistan often end up at Symbios.pk. Social media, though, brings in a decent number of users to the e-commerce store.
Due to a dated design, it only has an average visit duration of 2 minutes 16 seconds and users who do stumble onto the seller view only 2.30 pages on average.
ShopHive.com is one of the oldest e-commerce stores in the country. At fifth, it comes in relatively low in the rankings. Despite its lead in the market, ShopHive lost its top spot to players who came to the market a few years later. The retailer gets 483,330 different visitors per month.
Traffic breakdown shows that ShopHive has done little in terms of marketing. More than three quarters of its traffic comes from organic search terms. Even now, it tends to be keeping its distance from any type of brand promotion.
The online retailer is generally known for high-end gadgets which are often unavailable at other stores.
However, a good website layout helps ShopHive retain its users for about 4 minutes 35 seconds per visit. Users also tend to view at least 4.67 pages before ending their shopping sessions.
Yayvo.com is probably the newest entrant (If you ignore TCSConnect) among all the players in the list. It comes in at sixth but has shown rapid improvement in recent times due to strong marketing efforts. The online retailer gets 466,670 views on average.
Recent advertising campaigns has resulted in the highest brand recognition (as a percentage) in the whole list. Traffic information shows that Yayvo is making efforts on all fronts. Having sibling companies like TCS and SentimentsExpress doesn’t hurt either as they bring in a large number of visitors.
Yayvo’s modern design also means that it has one of the highest user engagement times in the industry. Average user spends about 7 minutes 39 seconds on the website and visits about 6.11 pages.
iShopping comes in at seventh with 436,670 monthly views on average. The retailer has suffered some loss in traffic in recent times but its rising product collection might change that.
Being in the market for so long, iShopping goes toe to toe with ShopHive in brand recognition. Most of its traffic still comes from search engines while improved marketing continues to improve its brand name.
The online retailer does have a good website design, however, it suffers in engaging visitors due to lack of recommendations on product pages. On average, users stay on the website for just 2 minutes 44 seconds and view only 2.80 pages.
Mega.pk is almost as old as ShopHive, but poor marketing has meant that it comes in at seventh place with just 396,670 views per month.
Traffic details show that Mega.pk isn’t even trying to increase its reach. Advertising, email newsletters, social media presence and referrals are very low. Only a small amount of people directly access the website.
Use of an aged design results in average visit durations of just 2 minutes 2 seconds and it only gets 3.14 Page views per visitor.
Telemart is a relatively popular name but has failed to convert that into traction. The design has remained the same for quite some time now and marketing is non-existent. Coming in at ninth, it gets 276,670 unique views per month.
Breakdown shows that Telemart’s user-base is split between regular visitors, search engines, social media sharing and referrals. Less marketing has meant that most of the users visit the website directly or by searching for the brand on Google. Considering the retained userbase and brand loyalty, Telemart could go much higher with a proper marketing strategy.
Telemart’s users usually spend 3 minutes 12 seconds on the website and view 3.11 pages every visit.
Last on the list is 24hours.pk with 217,670 monthly unique visitors. Still a new brand, 24hours.pk has seen rapid improvement in recent times thanks to strong marketing efforts.
Traffic breakdown reveals that 24hours.pk has been employing a comparatively different marketing technique. Instead of relying on search engines or display advertising, it opts for Facebook marketing which brings it a majority of its visitors. The remaining traffic sources, except display advertising, are evenly spread out. Brand recognition is relatively strong and continues to improve owing to the social media adverts.
Design-wise, 24hours.pk lags behind modern competitors resulting in average user visit of just 2 minutes and 35 seconds though page views per visitor are high at 4.85.
There is room for improvement but several new comers are rapidly rising and gaining user trust. It’s possible that some of them might even make it to the top ten list. Brand promotion will still be the deciding factor in the e-commerce game as Pakistani user-base is still unaware of the benefits of online shopping.
Some notable shopping sites which aren’t necessarily e-commerce stores or didn’t make the top 10 rankings, but still boast a mentionable number of visitors, are listed below:
- Alkaramstudio.com with 290,280 monthly visitors
- Shoppingbag.pk with 315,330 monthly visitors
- Pakstyle.pk with 183,810 monthly visitors
- Zeenwoman.com with 216,880 monthly visitors
- Czone.com.pk with 206,610 monthly visitors
- Shoprex.com with 327,780 monthly visitors
These numbers are based on quarterly data from SimilarWeb