Alibaba and Amazon Entry to Accelerate E-Commerce in Pakistan?

Media reports suggest global e-commerce behemoth Amazon.com could purchase substantial stake in Pakistan's e-commerce site  Clicky.pk.  This comes on the heels of a Bloomberg story that quoted anonymous sources indicating Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba is in serious negotiations to acquire Daraz.pk.  Online sales in Pakistan's $152 billion retail market are doubling every year,  according to Adam Dawood of Yayvo online portal. He expects them to pass $1 billion in the current fiscal year (2017-18), two years earlier than the previous forecast.

Amazon's Presence in Pakistan:

Amazon already owns about 33% stake in Clicky.pk through its acquisition in 2017 of Dubai-based online retailer Souq.  Souq acquired this stake in the Pakistani company in late 2016.

In March this year, Bloomberg cited sources saying that Alibaba and Daraz.pk are negotiating a a price for the acquisition. It said that the "deliberations are an early state and no decisions have been made".

E-Commerce Market Growth: 

Online sales in Pakistan's $152 billion retail market are growing much faster than the brick-and-mortar retail sales. Adam Dawood of Yayvo online portal estimates that e-tail sales are doubling every year. He expects them to pass $1 billion in the current fiscal year (2017-18), two years earlier than the previous forecast.

E-commerce in Pakistan is being enabled by increasing broadband penetration and new online payment options. Ant Financial, an Alibaba subsidiary, has just announced the purchase of 45% stake in Pakistan-based Telenor Microfinance Bank.

Payment Options: 

Mobile wallets, also called m-wallets, are smartphone applications linked to bank accounts that allow users to make payments for transactions such as retail purchases. According to recent State Bank statistics on branchless banking (BB) sector, mobile wallets reached a high of 33 million as of September 2017, up 21% over the prior quarter. About 22 percent of these accounts – 7.4 million – are owned by women, up 29% seen in Jul-Sep 2017 over previous quarter. Share of active m-wallets has also seen significant growth from a low of 35% in June 2015 to 45% in September 2017.

Summary: 

Online sales in Pakistan's $152 billion retail market are doubling every year,  according to Adam Dawood of Yayvo online portal.  The country's retail market is the fastest growing in the world, according to Euromonitor.  Expanding middle class, particularly millennials with rising disposable incomes, is demanding branded and packaged consumer goods ranging from personal and baby care items to food and beverage products. Strong demand for fast moving consumer goods is drawing large new investments of hundreds of millions of dollars.  Rapid growth in sales of consumer products and services is driving other sectors, including retail, e-commerce, paper and packaging, advertising, media, sports and entertainment. Potential downsides of soaring consumption include increased amount of  solid waste and decline in domestic savings and investment rates.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Pakistan Retail Sales Growth

Advertising Revenue in Pakistan

Pakistan FMCG Market

The Other 99% of Pakistan Story

PSL Cricket League Revenue

E-Commerce in Pakistan

Fintech Revolution in Pakistan

Mobile Broadband Speed in Pakistan

Comments

Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan’s booming e-commerce market is just getting started
Sarfaraz A. KhanUpdated March 26, 2018


https://www.dawn.com/news/1397446


Pakistan’s e-commerce market has witnessed phenomenal growth recently.

The number of registered e-commerce merchants has risen by 2.6-times and e-commerce payments have surged 2.3-times in a span of just twelve months, as per a State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) report. But this is still a young market with significant room for growth.

Pakistani businesses have embraced e-commerce. Hundreds of retailers, ranging from clothing outlets to electronic equipment stores, are now using websites to sell goods to customers.

The emergence of several online marketplaces, such as Daraz.pk and OLX Pakistan, has made it easier for retailers to sell goods on the web. At the same time, a number of new online businesses have also propped up.

As per the SBP’s Payment Systems Review (Q2FY18), there were a total of 344 e-commerce merchants in the country registered with banks at the end of 2016. By the end of 2017, that number had climbed to 905.

This growth was accompanied by a surge in e-commerce transactions from these merchants from Rs3.9 billion in the last three months of 2016 to Rs9.1bn in the last three months of the previous year. The central bank’s report also indicates that around 800 million payment transactions totalling Rs4.5bn were booked in the last three months of 2017. That’s also considerably greater than the Rs2bn e-commerce payments that happened in the same period of 2016.

The actual value of e-commerce sales, however, is likely several times larger than the above-mentioned numbers. That is because the central bank’s report only shows those transactions that occurred through debit or credit cards.

But Pakistani consumers mainly use the cash-on-delivery (COD) system to buy goods online. As per one estimate, almost 85 per cent of online sales occur through COD. Using this, we can speculate that roughly Rs25.5bn e-commerce payments may have occurred in the Oct-Dec period through the COD system.

It wasn’t long ago when the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority noted in its annual report for the previous fiscal year that the size of Pakistan’s e-commerce market could grow from $60m-$100m in 2015 to $1bn by 2020.However, industry experts now believe that the country could hit the key milestone by as soon as this year.

If the country continues to witness e-commerce sales of Rs30bn in every quarter from electronic card and COD system, just as it likely did in the last three months of 2017, then the total sales for the ongoing fiscal may clock in at Rs102bn, or $1.1bn at the current exchange rate. If however, Pakistan witnesses an increase in online sales, which could be driven by the Eid shopping season, then the market could go way past the $1 billion threshold in 2018.

At $1 billion, however, the size of Pakistan’s e-commerce market will still be tiny. Global e-commerce retail sales are expected to be around $2.8 trillion in 2018, as per data from Statista, a provider of market and consumer data.

China is the world’s largest e-commerce market where the online retail sales are forecasted to be around $600bn for 2018, followed by the US with $461.5bn of expected sales. India could report $25bn of retail e-commerce sales in the current year.

That being said, Pakistan is still a young e-commerce market where less than one-fifth of the total population uses the internet.

As per latest data from Internet Live Stats, the global internet penetration rate is around 46pc. In developed markets like the US, the metric is over 80pc. In Pakistan, however, a little less than 18pc of the population has access to the internet. That’s less than half of the global average, which means that there’s significant room for growth although internet penetration in the country has already grown significantly from just 8pc in 2010.
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan now has 53 million 3G and 4G subscribers, PTA

https://www.techjuice.pk/pakistan-now-has-53-million-3g-and-4g-subscribers-pta/

The number of internet users in Pakistan is rising fastly. According to report by Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), the number of 3G and 4G customers in Pakistan reach 53.24 Million by the end of March 2018. PTA observed the number of mobile users in Pakistan reached 149.10 million by March 2018 as compared to 147.204 million at the end of February 2018.

If you look at the individual mobile network count then Jazz is a top-notch telecom operator and its total count for 3G users stood at 14.98 million by March, compared to 14.88 million by end of February 2018, marking an increase of 0.1 million. Jazz 4G user numbers jumped from 2,590,092 by end February 2018 to 3,155,686 by 31 March.

Zong 3G subscribers elevated from 8.893 million by 28 February 2018 to 9.187 million by 31 March, whereas the variety of 4G customers jumped from 5,830,231 by February 2018 to 6,373,061 by 31st March.

The count of 3G customers of Telenor community jumped from 10.878 million by the end of February 2018 to 10.928 million by the end of March 2018. The number of 4G customers jumped from 2,154,238 by February 2018 to 2,451,057 by end-March.

Ufone added 0.147 million 3G users on its network during the month of March and the total count reached to 6.165 million by end-March compared to 6.018 by end of February 2018.

Teledensity for cellular mobiles reached 74.98 % and broadband subscribers reached 55,558,824 by the end of March in comparison with 53,554,231 by the end of February 2018.

The telecom sector of Pakistan has undergone through huge transformations after the arrival of 3G and 4G services in the country. However, the Pakistani government is going to introduce 5G technology as well that will be at least 100 times faster than the speed of 4G technology. The government has finally allowed the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to let telcos conduct 5G trials in Pakistan.
Riaz Haq said…
#Alibaba buys Rocket Internet's #Pakistan #ecommerce platform Daraz.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-rocket-internet-divestiture-alibaba/alibaba-buys-rocket-internets-pakistan-ecommerce-platform-daraz-idUSKBN1I90N0

Alibaba Group (BABA.N) has bought the entire share capital of Rocket Internet’s (RKET.DE) South Asian ecommerce platform Daraz Group, Rocket Internet said on Tuesday.

Daraz, founded in Pakistan in 2012, operates online marketplaces in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Nepal. The unit will continue to operate under the same brand following the sale to Alibaba, Rocket said.

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