How to start an E-Commerce Business in Pakistan in 2023?

In Pakistan. starting an e-commerce business can be a complex and challenging process in the absence of payment processing facilities. The e-commerce industry continues to grow at a rapid pace.

In the current year 2023, the market size for eCommerce is forecasted to be USD 6,724 million. This figure puts Pakistan ahead of many developing countries such as New Zealand. Current revenue is expected to grow by 6.1%, which would create a market size of USD 8,500 million by 2027.

New and aspiring entrepreneurs are looking for new opportunities in e-commerce. In this article, we discuss all the major steps that can help you start your eCommerce business in Pakistan in 2023.

E-commerce models:
The industry is highly competitive, so the first step is to identify a business model. There are four basic types.

Business-to-customer (B2C): The B2C model focuses on selling to consumers directly online. A prime example in Pakistan is Daraz. Individual customers go to the website, search for a product and order online. Most online stores fall into this category. If you want to sell a product or service, set up a website and start selling online.

Business-to-business (B2B): B2B models aim to make it easier for businesses to sell products or services to other businesses (not individuals). Amazon Business and Alibaba are prime examples of B2B eCommerce models.

Identify your niche and target market:
It is very important to identify your business niche and target audience. A niche is a specific area in which a business wants to operate, and a target market is a group of people who may be interested in your business. Remember that a business can sell a product or service. You can set up a website and sell online or you can set up a store (marketplace) on Facebook, Amazon, Instagram, or Daraz.

Develop a business plan:
e-commerce business plan

After creating a business niche and target market, the next step is to develop a business plan. A business plan is a document that identifies business goals and strategies. Strategies focus mainly on marketing channels to spread the word and reach audiences who might be interested in the business.

Here is a quick list of 5 things you need to take care of.

1- Choose a business name and start building your brand:
The following steps should be kept in mind when choosing a business name:

Make it memorable and easy to pronounce.
Check if the domain name is available.
The name should be unique.
Consider the potential for future growth.
A positive connotation should be attached to the name.
After choosing a name, you can start building your brand by developing a brand identity. This includes creating a logo, brand colors, and tagline. You can also create websites and social media accounts to help build your online presence.

To create a strong and identifiable brand, it is also important to maintain your brand image and message in all marketing and communication materials that can engage your target audience.

2- Register your company:
After choosing a brand name, you will need to register your business and obtain all necessary licenses. To register a business in Pakistan, you will need to take the following steps

Register with FBR and get NTN (National Tax Number)
Register with SSCP
Register with your local Chamber of Commerce
It is recommended that you consult an attorney or accountant for specific advice on how to register your business name in your city.

3- Create your e-commerce website:
After taking care of the business mission and legal aspects, the next step is to get your online presence and it starts with the development of your eCommerce website. Websites can be developed in WordPress or Shopify.

No experience building e-commerce websites?

Head over to WorkChest, post your project, and get suggestions from talented web developers from all over Pakistan.

4- Create your inventory and create product records:
Once the website is set up, the next step is to populate the store with products. You will need to upload an inventory that includes the product name, description, price, images, and item number (quantity) available in stock. You will also need to arrange logistics such as branded packaging, warehousing, inventory management, and shipping.

In Pakistan, TRAX and TCS are pioneers in e-commerce courier services.

5 – Marketing and advertising:
marketing and advertising

The final piece of the puzzle is to identify the marketing and advertising budget and channels. In Pakistan, people use Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube a lot. It won’t be a bad idea to target these social media platforms and start promoting your online store.

When you choose creatives for paid social media campaigns, videos work best. People like to see what they want to buy, and when creatives have a brand story attached to them, making decisions is much easier. Celebrity video endorsements work best for e-commerce in Pakistan. When spending money on advertising, it is important to monitor the return on investment (ROI).

The best and fastest way of paid advertising is Google PPC. When you choose Google to drive traffic to your website for business-related keywords, people will only come to your website when they want to buy something or at least are interested in your business because they came to your website after searching for a keyword. on Google. Your sponsored listing is displayed at the very top, prompting users to click on a link to your landing page.

The landing page must contain these three elements

Facebook Pixel
Email signup form
Social media icons

What are the costs of starting an e-shop?
Website Development and Hosting: eCommerce requires a website and the website must be built with a reliable hosting company that is fast, scalable, and has 99% uptime with 24/7 support. Website and hosting costs vary from product to product.

Product Sourcing and Inventory: These costs depend on the number of products you want to have in your warehouse (inventory). Also, the methods of obtaining products are the most intuitive in terms of price.

Marketing and Advertising: A typical marketing and advertising budget in Pakistan is set aside from $1000 to $10,000. The budget is spent on

Google PPC
Advertising on Facebook
TikTok ads
Promotion on Instagram
Ads on YouTube
Starting an e-commerce business in Pakistan is not difficult. It is supported on many fronts, including the Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of Information and Technology, and e-commerce start-ups are supported with lots of facilities and mentorship. After marketing your business, you can identify your niche, build an online store, and start selling.