The Novel Coronavirus Emboldened Business Closure
Over the past two years, faced with coronavirus induced uncertainty, the PTI government ordered several retail stores to close down. In these corollary virus-containing lockdowns, local supermarkets and hypermarkets were among those succumbing to state mandated business closures.
Retailers Retaliate: #inecommercewebelieve
Retailers in Pakistan have hence, have been struggling in their search for alternative solutions. 43% resolved to do nothing and just wait it out until the state lifted the lockdown. Others cited this shortcoming as an opportunity.
Nearly 3 in 5 retailers (59%) sought to promote their services online via social media platforms like Facebook and over half (51%) engineered online applications and a warehousing model, promising door-to-door grocery deliveries. Companies like Delivery Heroes, PandaMart, and Airlift Express were a few of the many that took the initiative to tap into this e-market. As such, Airlift also acquired a sizeable foreign investment in 2021, prompting its rapid expansion.
Smaller Companies: to give up or grow online?
Prominent victims of the pandemic include micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs). 83% of these entities had neither prepared nor planned to encounter such a situation. Additionally, two-thirds of such enterprises explained how they feared permanent closure, if the lockdown prolonged for more than two months.
Several smaller companies also emerged in Pakistan’s national market of Pakistan. Frozen food sales coordinated over these doorstep delivery apps appeared ambiguous, but entities like Pk Meat & Food have experienced a good growth in sales over this platform. In their case, despite the challenges borne, their product’s quality remains the winner. Additionally, the option to buy whatever they will and privacy of choice become incentivising points for their customer base. “ It is purely the product quality and to some extent its taste, that makes the customer buy again from the privacy of their smartphones “ Said ; CEO of PK Meat & Food , Mr. Saqib Butt.
It is therefore no surprise that companies like Pk Meat & Food can expect consistent, sustainable growth over e-commerce platforms, and have a strong loyal customers base.