Covid-19 Pandemic and Its Impact on Pakistani Market

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An old axiom says that “necessity is the mother of invention”. As we know that no country escaped from Coronavirus. The risk of getting infected has frozen the life of human beings across the world. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) anyone can be caught by a deadly virus through flue, coughs, or sneezes by other people. To ensure protection from disease, public places particularly, all shopping centers have adopted safety measures such as limiting the number of buyers is allowed for shopping at a time, sanitizing gates and social distancing, etc.

In Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, the large cities of Pakistan, virus cases have surged. Therefore, people are avoiding physical visits to grocery stores and availing the option of online shopping. The delivery option is already available in Pakistan. However, in the current situation, online e-commerce platforms such as telemart and ITDukan are experiencing huge demand for groceries, medicines, masks, electronic support, and computer equipment. Such online stores are performing the function of mini supermarkets. Buying online is not only safe but also a continent, anyone can order on the website or mobile application.  As people order online and get items at their doorstep, this decreases the number of buyers in stores and ultimately lowers the chance of spreading disease in the community.

No one can deny that COVID-19 has proved as a profitable opportunity for many businesses. Especially e-commerce businesses availed this opportunity and used traditionally as well as digital marketing to encourage buyers to stay at home and order online. Online e-commerce platforms are also taking precautionary measures such as their delivery agents to wear masks and gloves.

A recent report by Capgemini indicates that most customers are doing online shopping for the first time and most of them are living in urban areas. Nevertheless, the chance of converting into permanent online buyers is higher for first-time buyers. It is because buy online is easy and convenient. Most importantly, buying online has becomes their routine. Erik Rosenstrauch, the founder of a retail marketing firm points out that

“There’s an old phrase, it takes 30 days to make a habit and now we’ve all

had 30 days stuck at home to begin developing new habits.”

Moreover, it is observed that COVID-19 has changed the behavior of the financial market dramatically. Now people are making cashless and contactless transactions. Almost all banks in Pakistan have directed their clients to download the mobile applications of their banks and use internet banking. To promote the use of internet banking, all banks have waived online transaction charges.

In a nutshell, COVID-19 has not only impacted individual lives but it has also changed the behavior of the market. The rising trend of online shopping has created opportunities for e-commerce businesses. As a result, retails business has exploded. Similarly, a change in the behavior of the financial market has been observed. The importance of contactless and cashless transactions has increased incredibly.  The interesting point is that online shopping and cashless transactions are likely to continue in the future due to safety and convenience.

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