E-Commerce penetration: scope and challenges.

Author:Fazl-E-Haider, Syed

Byline: Syed Fazl-E-Haider

The trend to use internet has been growing fast in Pakistan for the last one decade. As the trend grows faster, traditional business is being converted into internet business where all transactions are done online, from selection of product to payment of bills. The business on the internet is less costly and more beneficial. It is becoming very popular mode of trading around the world particularly in the West.

With a population of over 200 million, Pakistan has the potential to become next major internet market in terms of number of connected people in the next few years. According to one estimate, 9 percent of the country's population went online during last year while another 30 percent are likely to get connected to internet in next three to five years.

Electronic Commerce or e-commerce is actually the business done through the internet in the present era of modernization and technology. The rapidly growing usage of internet is shifting the world towards the e-commerce. Phenomenal advancement in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has not only brought a revolution in the life styles of the people but also in the business and marketing strategies of the people. Today, a company creates, maintains and optimizes business relations with consumers and other businesses using tools and practices involving internet technologies.

This is precisely e-commerce, which is an information technology trend developing fast in the business world. It includes selling, buying, advertising and contacting buyers with credit card or digital cash, by transfer of data between different companies using internet through online facility.

Presently, there are roughly 30 million internet users, who are the focus of entrepreneurs in Pakistan. The arrival of 3G and 4G mobile networks is further strengthening the trend towards e-commerce in the country. According to one estimate, the total volume of online sales was around $35 million last year. A race seems to have started among young Pakistani entrepreneurs market share pushing sites to offer better services and driving up the number of customers. The Pakistani e-commerce market is alluring the interest of international investors. For instance, Daraz.pk and Azmalo.pk are some of the most successful and popular Pakistani ecommerce websites developed by Rocket Internet (GmbH), the world's leading online venture builder.

There is lack of awareness among the masses regarding...

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