LAHORE – EcomX17, the first exclusive e-commerce event to take place in Pakistan, was held at a local hotel in the Punjab capital on Wednesday.
Organised by P@SHA and PSEB, and supported by Fishry & Microsoft, EcomX17 acted as a platform for e-commerce experts, professionals and opinion leaders in the country to pool their opinions, share their experiences and work collectively towards the initiative’s growth.
It was attended by professionals from e-commerce marketplaces (Yayvo, TCS Sentiments etc), e-commerce enablers (Fishry, Microsoft, Facebook etc), payment vendors (Finca & SimSim), and multiple known and upcoming brands, and received an overwhelming response from the attendees.
EcomX17 promised to act as a supporting ground to promote conducive policies for e-commerce in Pakistan, as well as growing the market collectively and increasing customer convenience. The issues and challenges related to e-commerce in Pakistan were also discussed at the event, thereby providing a great networking platform for digital nomads.
The event started with a discussion on how consumer behaviour has shifted from desktop usage to dependence upon mobile phones. Shant Oknayan, Facebook Mena, shared with the audience how consumers in the US spend six hours of a day on digital platforms, out of which three are spent on mobile phones, the highest amount of time spent on any media platform.
Moreover, he also explained that three billion opportunities or moments are created every day to engage consumers through mobile. Moreover, he also elaborated how video content is gaining popularity, and is the new way of interaction, as brands are moving away from the static content.
Mr Oknayan concluded by talking about the growth of e-commerce and how 1.2 billion people on Facebook are already connected with one business in a foreign country, mentioning that there were huge opportunities for businesses to connect with a vast global audience through an e-commerce platform.
During a presentation, Ali Khurshid, Facebook APAC, provided an overview of the various Facebook tools that can be used for taking a brand global with the help of e-commerce. The list of tools he talked about included Dynamic languages, Audience insights, Facebook Business, and Instagram Business.
A detailed case study of Daraz and a few other brands were also discussed during the session, including how these brands have been able to achieve an 85% increase in sales with the help of Facebook.
Irfan Wahab, CEO Telenor, started his talk by listing statistics pertaining to mobile phone users in Pakistan. He stated that there are 140 million connections in Pakistan, and that one-third of these people are connected through a smartphone, a number that is likely to increase with the introduction of low-priced smartphones in the market. He also mentioned that, by the end of 2018, 80% of Pakistanis will have access to 4G.
Sadia Khurram, GM North Careem, discussed how the cab service, that is available in 11 cities across the country, has brought the concept of a virtual marketplace to Pakistan, and that it promises to create one million jobs by 2020. Sadia also talked about Careem’s vision of women empowerment, and how it has provided women with a safe platform for traveling, as 60% of Careem’s user base consists of women.
Another keynote speaker, Shoaib Khalil, Territory Manager Microsoft, talked about how 86% of CEOs consider digital platforms as their number one priority and how this decade has seen an advancement in technology to meet consumer demands. He also talked about how highly personalised offers offering digital and analogue flexibility with advanced analytics can be used to introduce e-commerce to businesses in Pakistan. He concluded by mentioning that, between 2006 and 2016, Amazon has seen an increase in market value of 1934%, the highest percent change in Pakistan.
P@sha Chairman Barkaan Saeed concluded the event by elaborating the efforts of the Ministry of Commerce and the government in order to boost e-commerce in Pakistan.