Pakistan has a progressively growing e-commerce market, with a notable market growth of 35% in fiscal year 2021, according to Dawn.com. One possible factor could be that amidst the Covid-19 crisis, many physical stores shifted their operations online, which led to a sudden surge in online buying; many tech companies sensed this transition and launched platforms that could grab the attention of potential customers.
PakistanCreates was soft-launched in December 2021, and ever since, the e-store has attracted about 100 vendors which are currently using the platform. The platform allows these vendors to create an e-store for their products, via PakistanCreates, and differentiates itself from competitors by only catering to vendors who do not import their products. Therefore, consumers can expect only locally produced products on the PakistanCreates e-store, such as personal care products, accessories and clothing for men and women, paintings and other home accessories, stationery items and food products – including home-made mithai, frozen products such as samosas and dry fruit. To ensure quality, the team at PakistanCreates has strict quality control measures in place and constantly analyses customer feedback.
According to Mahe Zehra, CEO, FiveRivers Technologies and Founder, PakistanCreates, the platform is unique because it allows entrepreneurs to expand their market beyond the space of social media. Zehra, a data scientist who has a passion for promoting arts and creativity in Pakistan, aims to expand the e-store globally so that Pakistani goods can be sold abroad as well eventually.
In the future, the platform aims to generate revenue by advertising more prominently; they will also introduce tools that can educate vendors about branding and marketing, provide subscriptions for upskilled stores, and leverage other e-commerce features.
According to Zehra, the proposed marketing strategy currently centres on social media platforms. She adds that PakistanCreates’ short-term goals entail increasing its consumer base and attracting a further 500 to 1000 sellers, at least, in the coming months. The platform is still in its soft-launch phase and has a long way to go. Since the onset of the pandemic, it has been evident that there is a demand for products available on e-stores. Hopefully, PakistanCreates will continue to grow, all the while whilst maintaining the quality of goods sold on their platform.
Hiba Usmani is a passionate writer and dentist by profession.