In 2019, Pakistan’s ecommerce industry remained resilient through a difficult year. Daraz, the leading ecommerce platform in the country, witnessed exceptional growth as the number of users visiting the platform increased by 100%. The number of customers shopping on Daraz increased by 140% and the number of orders placed in the year rose by 200% despite inflationary pressures and currency fluctuations. Through the year, the platform pushed the boundaries of innovation to find solutions and drive growth.
Two factors highly-critical for the growth of the ecommerce landscape in Pakistan are financial inclusion and the country’s literacy rate, according to KCCI’s 2019 ecommerce report. With the launch of the Daraz Wallet in March, Daraz has not only contributed to financial inclusion but encouraged a shift towards digital payments. More than 1 million wallets were activated over the year and digital payments contributed to 40% of the overall share of orders. With the launch of Daraz University, the platform has focused on educating a growing seller base on ecommerce operations to ensure the growth of their online ventures. Extensive free-of-cost tutorials available to new and existing sellers focus on product pricing, packaging and customer service and have helped empower 30,000 sellers this year.
In the out-going year, Daraz also empowered sellers to reach a larger, global customer base with the launch of DExports. The platform provides complete support to local exporters to help them capitalise on this opportunity in the form of free-of-cost trainings, knowledge sharing and offering a full ecosystem of payments and logistics support. DExports carries the potential to boost Pakistan’s exports in the coming years and open up more opportunities for local manufacturers.
Logistics in Pakistan has remained a challenge because the landscape in Pakistan is not digitised. Daraz Express (DEX) was launched as a solution to the logistics challenge and is a cornerstone of the growth Daraz has witnessed in the past year. The company employs more than 1,500 DEX Heroes and conducts more than 60% of all Daraz orders. As a result, the delivery time for orders has been reduced by 1-2 days and customer experience has been enhanced.
A number of initiatives Daraz has taken in the past year have ensured the platform’s growth despite economic difficulties in the country. By developing a strong logistics infrastructure and a payments infrastructure that encourages digital transactions, Daraz has created fundamental changes in the country’s ecommerce landscape. The platform stands in a unique position to alter the landscape, create opportunities for Pakistanis and lead the country in the digital era.