The Past, Present & Future of Online Shopping in Pakistan

In the past few decades, the world has seen a copious number of changes brought on by the rising technology. While it is true that an extensive number of activities or jobs are turning fully virtual from manual, many people see it as a huge con. Manual jobs are transforming into fully machine-operated works. We have gone from waiting in line for things like driving licenses, to applying and acquiring them online. And buying household essentials like groceries from online stores instead of markets. Now it might be frowned upon by many, but ever since the launch of the metaverse, it is predicted that the majority of the population on the planet is going to prefer the virtual world in the coming decades.

If we consider Pakistan, with over 50 million internet subscribers and rising, online shopping in Pakistan has led to revenue of a whopping $4 billion in 2020 alone. And in the worldwide ranking, Pakistan holds the position of being the 46th largest market for eCommerce in the 2019-2020 survey. These numbers exponentially increased during the 2-year lockdown.

It is also predicted that 19% of the Pakistani population has bought at least 1 item online in 2021. Therefore, it would not be false to state that online shopping, or eCommerce, is a very lucrative market in the country.

And to provide the population with some of the best brands in the country under one roof, HeyDude Shopping came into being in early 2022. The sole purpose of our website is to allow our customers to shop a range of various products all on a single online store. With top-of-the-line brands like Chingari, Scents n Stories and The Warehouse, HeyDude Shopping carries a gamut of various products to choose from.

Online shopping has had a rich history and is predicted to have a scintillating future globally. But when we talk about online shopping in Pakistan, it is vehement to understand its past and the workings of its present, in order to determine its place in the future. So below is a concise overview of the past, present, and future of online shopping in Pakistan.

The Past

The first-ever online purchase was made in 1984, using the 'Videotex' system which was developed by an English inventor named Michael Aldrich. And then 10 years later, 1994-1995 marked the year of online shopping as portals and services like eBay and Amazon came into being.

It was about 5 years later that online shopping emerged in Pakistan. It started when the system of PayPal was introduced in 2000 but got banned the following year. This prompted the vendors to opt for cash on delivery. Not long after, payment methods like mPOS and online banking were introduced which skyrocketed the already booming market.
Furthermore, services like 'EasyPaisa', which came into play in 2009, propelled the industry of online shopping in Pakistan. And then, many dominant online stores were formed to provide the ever-growing users of online shopping in Pakistan.


The Present

Considering that online shopping has existed for almost 3 decades, it had a monumental demographic in terms of active users all around the globe. However, what has exceptionally boosted its user base is the recent COVID-19 global pandemic that forced the entirety of the world to stay indoors for almost 2 years. And billions of people, who needed the service as they were in lockdown, started to ultimately depend on the facility of online shopping.

Online shopping in Pakistan, too, boosted sales and became one of the few industries that not only survived but flourished during the pandemic. If we look at data province-wise, in 2020, Punjab boasted of highest contribution to online shopping sales at 55%, followed by Sindh at 36% and the rest at 9%.

If we contemplate the present of online shopping in Pakistan, the rate at which new up and coming apps and services that are rising over the horizon bespoke a shining imminent future. Each aspect of items that can be bought and sold is making its way into the online market. And each of these products has its own niche-specific online store to cater the millions of users.

For groceries and household items, there are apps like AirLift and PandaMart. For food deliveries, the most prominent one is FoodPanda and, currently gaining consumers, Cheetah. Pakistan has even seen the creation of a medicine delivery application called Dawaai that delivers medicine to your doorsteps. There are multipurpose stores too that sell anything and everything. And last but not the least is the online market of fashion, which we at HeyDude Shopping are a significant part of.


The Future

We went from in-person purchasing to online shopping, so what does the future of online shopping hold for Pakistan?

As mentioned earlier, the world was introduced to the metaverse not too long ago. The idea behind this network of the 3D world is that everything you do now can be done easier and better in the virtual world. It instigated the future by inciting ideas like working from home and being in the office at the same time. And thus, online shopping or eCommerce, too, holds a myriad of possibilities in virtual reality.

We have somehow unknowingly already stepped into the future with the creation of metaverse. And innovative ideas like the touchscreen shopping store in Japan, are stepping stones toward a tech-savvy future of online shopping in Pakistan and around the world.

However, to keep up with the rest of the world in terms of future goals, Pakistan needs to step up its technology game if we ever want to become a part of VR and all its boons.


The Bottom Line

The future of online shopping might seem like a distant occurrence; however, it is getting a swift boom. And with the rampant creation of online stores like HeyDude, we just may be able to trudge a path towards a digital future.

With an array of all-inclusive clothing and lifestyle products for women, men, and children, HeyDude plans to make a prominent mark in the industry of online shopping in Pakistan. With multiple exclusive and chic brands, we offer a diverse range of clothing and fragrance option for all genders and ages.

Shop at HeyDude and pick from a collection of classy brands and sophisticated items of the most premium quality.

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