Monday, May 24, 2021

E-Commerce: Will Amazon Help Boost Pakistan's Exports?

Global e-commerce giant Amazon has recently added several dozen Pakistani exporters to its approved list, according to Eric Broussard, vice president of Amazon International Seller Services. "We are excited to announce that as of today, Pakistani entrepreneurs are eligible to sell on Amazon. We are eager to work with Pakistan's dynamic business community, including small and medium-sized sellers and help connect them with customers around the globe," he said.   

Amazon Global Marketplace. Source: Wikipedia

Amazon e-commerce platform has global reach. As of March 2021, Amazon Marketplace operates and sells in 18 countries, mostly in advanced economies of Europe, Japan and North America as well as in emerging markets like Brazil, China, India, Arab Gulf states and Turkey. It boasts 200 million members for its Amazon Prime program that offers fast free shipping and other benefits, including Prime Video streaming for a fixed annual fee. The company hosts millions of sellers from over 100 countries on Amazon Marketplace. Over 7,000 Amazon-listed sellers from Pakistan's neighbor India have exported goods worth over $3 billion since 2015.    

It has taken the combined effort of thousands of Indian sellers more than 5 years to achieve $3 billion in cumulative sales, indicating that it will take Pakistani sellers a lot of hard work and time  to grow their business. But Amazon e-commerce platform does offer great potential for Pakistani manufacturers and merchants to grow their sales. 

Amazon currently owns about 33% stake in Pakistani e-tailer through its acquisition in 2017 of Dubai-based online retailer Souq.  Souq acquired this stake in the Pakistani company in late 2016. Amazon operates in South Korea through a partnership with SK Telecom

There is already a cottage industry of gig workers that has sprung up in Pakistan to support merchants who have been unofficially selling products on Amazon Marketplace. These Pakistani merchants have registered from countries such as the United Kingdom which are already on Amazon's approved list.

Pakistani gig workers include Amazon Virtual Assistants. These are freelancers providing services such as customer call centers, administrative tasks, fulfillment, and web development. Online freelance marketplace Fiverr lists over 7,000 Pakistanis who advertise themselves as Amazon Virtual Assistants, more than from any other country. 

To become successful on Amazon Marketplace, Pakistani exporters will need to select and learn a lot about their target countries/markets and customer preferences. They will have to design, build or choose products that are in great demand in their target markets. 

Initially, Pakistani exporters will likely need to establish a significant inventory of fast-selling products at Amazon warehouses in the United States and use FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) service to provide quick delivery to Amazon Prime customers. Pakistan exporters will also have to ensure quality to satisfy these customers and avoid negative online reviews. 

Listing of Pakistani sellers on a global e-commerce platform is good news but it is only the first step toward becoming successful exporters. A lot more investment, attention and hard work will be necessary to realize its full potential.  


Ahmed said...

Sir it is mashallah a good news but the question is that why is Pakistan so late in taking decisions ?

Sir the regional office of Facebook is in India .
Google has its office in India .

PayPal already has its service in India . Offcourse such initiatives are not taken without the permission of the government's of the country .

Why aren't their any regional offices of these major and great companies in Pakistan ?

Ahmed said...

Sir the question is that how will Pakistan make progress in the field of IT ,if these well known companies like Google ,Facebook and Microsoft don't invest in Pakistan ?

Pls note that when these internationally famous companies invest their money in a country then international media gives coverage to such news and this way the image of the country improves internationally .

This is the main reason why India is having a good image in the world in terms of IT . When these internationally recognized companies invest in India ,India is highlighted in the media ,and this is how when people around the world watch these news on the media channels ,it builds the positive image of India in the minds and hearts of the people in different countries .

Pakistan must adopt the same policy and should allow these companies to invest in Pakistan if Pakistani authorities want to improve the image of the country internationally .

Ahmed said...

Dear Sir

Indians are very smart when it comes to marketing and presentation . It is unfortunate that PAKISTAN is lagging behind in this area . India is way ahead of Pakistan in presentation and marketing .

Indians know very well that their positive image internationally will not just allow FDI(Foreign Direct Investment ) to flow inside India but it will also increase tourism in India because when a country has a good image internationally and doesn't have security issues then foreign tourists and travellers visit that country .

When Indian lobbies and government was busy building positive image of India ,their RAW and other agents were working against national interest of Pakistan .

Do you know Sir when ever foreign investors and businessmen show interest to invest in Pakistan ,immediately these Indians jump in and try to dissuade these foreign investors and businessmen from investing in Pakistan ,they say to these investors and businessmen that PAKISTAN is not an ideal place for investment .

Also when ever any foreigner sees beautiful pics of northern areas of Pakistan on Facebook and on other social networking sites ,and when these foreigners show interest to visit Pakistan ,immediately these Indian trolls jump in and try to dissuade these foreigners from visiting Pakistan .

This clearly shows how much these Indians are having influence on social networking sites and how they use their influence to harm Pakistan.

Riaz Haq said...

Jabran Niaz, a Pakistani national, has set a new precedent in digital marketplace ranking among top 5 sellers on Amazon. According to Startup Pakistan, Niaz’s company Utopia Deals has an online presence across 5 continents and 11 countries selling more than 20 million products worth $360 million a year.

Niaz’s Utopia Deals offers products for home interior like bedding, kitchen accessories, towels and other such items that are used in home improvement. The company has over 6 million customers worldwide.

It is worth noting that e-Commerce giant Amazon recently added Pakistan to its approved sellers’ list, and some Pakistani companies already selling on Amazon were doing so through overseas offices. Pakistan’s listing as an approved seller will give great opportunities to small and medium enterprises as well as to exporters for tapping into the vast online marketplace.

Riaz Haq said...

Amazon has recently announced that it will now allow Pakistan sellers to sell their products on Amazon. This great change makes it a right time for any Pakistan seller to build their brand to maximize their reach and exposure internationally.

It has been reported that almost 70 percent of textile products are taken from Pakistan by other sellers from different regions. So, the fact that Pakistan provides one of the best textiles in the world will help local businesses get a boost directly from now on. This will not only benefit sale of textiles but other commodities too. However, in the garment industry, Pakistan may face some issues in breaking into the biggest fashion brands as it competes with Bangladesh, India, China, and Thailand. Pakistan is still a minor player and will need to majorly improve to ensure a better position.

Some of the best products one can sell on Amazon include textiles, electronics, toys & games, books, video games, clothing, shoes, jewelry, fitness items, cameras, home equipment, kitchen utensils, handtools, and much more. If you are planning to start being a Pakistan seller on Amazon, you better choose from any of these niches. With the variety of sellers on Amazon, you just need to have unique products to stand out from the crowd.

Before choosing a specific niche, you need to know what kind of products you can source easily and what you have enough knowledge about. This is because you need to have great products to prevent your seller account from being closed down because of bad products/ reviews. If you start a reputable store it will help build your customer pool and lead to more revenue.

Some of the most in-demand business models you can choose from are Private Label Wholesale, Reselling, Dropshipping, and handmade. Choose a fulfillment methos. It can either be fulfillment by Amazon, in which as a seller you ship to Amazon’s warehouse and they sell the product directly to the customer. Or it can be fulfillment by the merchant where you store your products and send them directly to your customers.

To succeed as an Amazon seller from Pakistan, you need to first study competitors from your specific niche. Get to know what they are doing to be on top of the selling list. Look at the best sellers as well as the best selling products. Do market research before settling for a certain product because if there is low demand, you will go at a loss when no one is willing to buy it, and so it will stay in the warehouse for long. You can use a combined product listing to invite more buyers. To initiate, start with few products, and then with time you can scale up and add more products as you grow. You can start with a unique brand that will help you stand out from the other sellers. To rank better use great product images, optimized titles, and descriptions. This will help your product to be easily visible.

On top of that, you can utilize the Amazon Marketing Services (AMS) that help you create ads for your products so that users can see your products under products related to this item. This brings great exposure. However, you should still be vigilant while selling items on Amazon. If you provide the wrong information, your account can easily be blocked.

Pakistan’s government had engaged Amazon last year about the issue, and it has finally succeeded. This great move will lead to favorable outcomes for the youth as well as small and medium enterprises to sell on the Amazon platform. This will add Pakistan sellers into the international market.

Riaz Haq said...

In a major development for local brands, Pakistani food products will now be available at American retail giant, Kroger Company.

The news was shared by Advisor to Prime Minister on Trade and Development Abdul Razak Dawood in a tweet post on Tuesday. “The Ministry of Commerce is pleased to inform that Pakistani food products are now available at the Kroger Co. USA,” tweeted Dawood, while sharing a picture of Pakistani food items put on display in the retail store.

The development could pave way for other Pakistani brands to make inroads into the US retail market, the US retail sales figures in 2020 stood at $5.58 trillion. Dawood thanked the US retail giant for placing its confidence in Pakistan’s products. “Our food brands will now be available in these stores,” he said.

Founded by Bernard Kroger in 1883 in Cincinnati, Ohio, Kroger Company is the US largest supermarket by revenue, and the second-largest general retailer behind Walmart. In 2019, the retailer recorded a revenue of $121.2 billion.

Dawood, however, stressed upon local exporters to emphasize on brand development in order to approach other international markets. “In order to further enhance our exports, we have to be attentive to brand development. Our local brands are still not recognized in the world market and hence more effort is required by our exporters,” said Dawood

Riaz Haq said...

South #Punjab set to get its first #Amazon facility. A #warehouse for #ecommerce platform will be set up at GPO #Multan, #Pakistan. The facility will provide local handmade and cultural products access to the international market. #exports

Pakistan Post is set to inaugurate south Punjab’s first Amazon Fulfilment and Facilitation Centre (AFFC) in Multan after Eidul Azha. The facility will provide local handmade and cultural products access to the international market.

One-and-a-half months ago, Commerce Adviser Abdul Razak Dawood had announced that e-commerce giant Amazon had added Pakistan to its sellers’ list. Following the development, Pakistani entrepreneurs became eligible to sell on the platform. Small & Medium Enterprises (SME), youth and women entrepreneurs will have ample opportunities to connect with the global market via the Amazon platform.

A warehouse of e-commerce platform will be set up at GPO Multan

The platform offers Amazon’s 3P model (third party relationship) where retailers sell directly to buyers through the marketplace which serves brand owners. Under Amazon’s 1P model, the marketplace acts as retailers while a brand is the wholesale supplier for mass producers who want to produce for Amazon brand items.

Post Master General (PMG) Zulfiqar Husnain said the opportunity would bring dynamism to the country’s manufacturing sector to compete in the international market.

“Most of the work has been completed on the AFFC at the General Post Office Dera Adda and it would be functional after Eidul Azha. An Amazon warehouse would also be established at GPO Multan. Work was also in progress to set up Amazon centers with warehouses in Bahawalpur, Rahim Yar Khan, Muzaffargarh, Sahiwal and other districts of south Punjab,” he added.

In this regard, the Pakistan Post officials also held a meeting with the Multan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) to jointly work to promote local products in the international market.

MCCI president Khawja Salahuddin and others were present in the meeting to discuss working with Amazon.

Mr Husnain said Pakistan Post, MCCI and Amazon should collaborate to increase economic growth in the SME sector. “We would provide state-of-the-art facilities to the business community. Craftsmen would be given the opportunity to promote their products at international level by registering it on Amazon,” he added.

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan a popular seller on Amazon
Over 1.2m vendors of country registered with marketplace

Pakistan has now become the third largest popular new seller on the Amazon marketplace, after the United States and China, with over 1.2 million registered vendors.

Pakistan was allowed to enter the Amazon marketplace in May 2021, a year after talks began in 2020, following the implementation of Pakistan’s first e-commerce policy, Marketplace
Pulse reported.

There are more sellers in Pakistan as compared to India, Vietnam, the UK
and Canada.

The country, which has just registered itself with the marketplace, is home to the world’s three largest Amazon seller groups. These vendors are expected to contribute to Pakistan’s exports of over
$28 billion.

Young entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized enterprises across the country will be able to avail the benefits offered by the platform, which will widen and diversify Pakistan’s export basket.

This will not only enhance their revenues but will also help the government in improving the macroeconomic outlook of the country,
it added.

The expansion of the e-commerce industry is important to support the medium and small-sized businesses to operate and make profit with the rising cost of
doing business.

Pakistan’s e-commerce policy is part of the overall Digital Pakistan vision aimed at paving the way for a holistic growth of e-commerce by creating an enabling environment in which enterprises have equal opportunity to grow steadily.

Major exports of Pakistan that contribute to the national economy include textiles, leather and sports goods, chemicals, carpets and rugs. Pakistan also exports significant quantities of rice, sugar, cotton, fish, fruits
and vegetables.

According to eCommerce analysis, Pakistan is the 37th largest market for eCommerce with revenue of $5.9 billion in 2021, placing it ahead of Iran.

With an increase of 45%, the Pakistani eCommerce market contributed to the worldwide growth rate of 15% in 2021.

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan e-commerce entrepreneurs stand out in UK market

Pakistani freelancers and entrepreneurs are expanding abroad by establishing a company in the US and UK markets, as data shared by UK government on foreign-owned company establishment shows that Pakistan ranks first, especially in E-Commerce industry.

Workhy, which provides end-to-end solutions that facilitate company establishment abroad has started to provide services in Urdu to facilitate opening of Pakistani entrepreneurs, especially those operating in the e-commerce industry and providing freelance services, to global markets. Pakistani entrepreneurs and freelancers export know-how and services to all over the world by using the possibilities of digitalisation. The data by the United Kingdom (UK) government on foreign-owned company establishment shows that Pakistani nationality ranks first in the e-commerce category. In addition, in The State of the Amazon Seller 2023, Pakistan ranks the fifth among the top selling countries in Amazon USA.

Considering the number of company establishments, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Workhy, Kenan A├žikelli on Thursday said Pakistan has a great potential in terms of entrepreneurship ecosystem, and added, “In the last five years, we see that most of entrepreneurs operating in field of e-commerce and doing business as freelancers are Pakistani citizens.”

It is known that nearly five thousand (5,000) Pakistani entrepreneurs subscribed to Workhy to establish companies abroad. According to the data shared by Workhy, in economically developing countries such as Pakistan, e-commerce plays a key role in increasing corporate competitiveness and country’s share in global trade.

Pakistani citizens contribute to country’s economy with small and medium-sized e-commerce businesses they have established in countries such as the United States of America (USA) and the UK, promising great potential. “Workhy is a platform that enables entrepreneurs from all over the world to establish companies and manage financial processes online in the country of their choice, without having to reside or travel. Pakistani entrepreneurs can establish companies in the USA, UK, Estonia, Netherlands and Turkey with Workhy or can open a branch in Germany,” A├žikelli said. Workhy, which has recently started to provide services in Urdu in consultancy processes, visited Pakistan in 2023 many times and made strong partnerships with the entrepreneurship ecosystem. The company plans to launch Urdu version of its website soon. Launched in 2022, Workhy has created above 20,000 companies for more than 130 nationalities. In addition, it is the exclusive partner of more than 20 global companies such as Payoneer, Wise, Mercury Bank, PayPal, Stripe. It has received investments from international investors and continues to expand to all continents.