Google’s Latest Insights Reveal How Pakistanis Make Purchasing Decisions During Online Shopping!

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Google Pakistan

Technology has immensely evolved in the last decade. It has brought forth a number of opportunities for individuals from employment to owning a business.

Pakistan has one of the fastest-growing eCommerce markets in the world, which explains why giants like Alibaba Group showed interest in acquiring online businesses.

With the future of eCommerce bright in the country, as more and more citizens now have access to the internet and are receiving awareness.

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Not to forget seamless changes in the model such as the introduction of ‘Cash on Delivery’ and cashless payment options.

In Pakistan, eCommerce activity is influenced by the influence and outcome of shopping habits.

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More Pakistanis are now becoming more active on digital platforms, such as search engines, social media, e-commerce marketplaces, mobile apps, and brand websites, this trend has influenced their purchasing habit.

To understand this change of trend better in order to learn more about consumers, Google partnered with leading research firms Quantum and Ipsos.

With a fresh and detailed set of data, retail owners can prepare for the future of their business while eCommerce platforms can prepare for what’s next.

The research focuses on 3 main categories in shopping, smartphones, women fashion and skincare products. Less than 2500 shoppers (1/3 from rural areas) were taken in this data for over 90 days.

Google Pakistan
Source: WeAre Social, Hootsuite& State Bank of Pakistan

Furthermore, all participants were from the age of 18-55 and had purchased at least one product from one of the three categories in the last 3 months. The data was then used to divide the path to purchase in 3 phases:

  1. Pre-purchase
  2. Point of Sale 
  3. Post-purchase

Phase 1: Pre-Purchase

The pre-purchase phase is when all the information seeking and responses to advertisements that the shopper exhibits prior to actually purchasing the product.

According to the information, due to the drastic change towards the path of purchase being influenced by digital platforms, it was found that Pakistanis go online to find information about a product category before making the purchase.

  • Skincare: 72%
  • Smartphones: 82%
  • Women’s Fashion Wear: 89%

It was also found that Pakistanis learn about a product online that they do in physicals. For example, for every 10 people that go into a fashion retail store to check out a product, there are 30 people who will never go into the store but instead opt for going online trying to learn about the article.

  • Skincare: 1.6x more Pakistani shoppers seek information about a skincare product
    then go into an actual physical store.
  • Smartphones: 2.1x more Pakistani shoppers seek information about a smartphone
    then go into an actual physical store.
  • Women’s Fashion Wear: 3x more Pakistani shoppers seek information about a
    women’s fashion wear item than go into an actual physical store.

Pakistanis who seek information about a product on digital platforms spend many more
sessions online than shoppers who go into a physical store. This means that brands have more opportunities to influence customers comparatively when inside a store.

  • Skincare: 30% more sessions happen online than in-store
  • Smartphones: 80% more sessions happen online than in-store
  • Women’s Fashion Wear: 30% more sessions happen online than in-store

Furthermore, Pakistanis use Google Search more than any other digital platform for research and browsing purposes and to seek out information about a product.

  • Skincare: 2x more people say they seek information on Google vs non-Google social
    media platform in the pre-purchase phase
  • Smartphones: 2.8x more people say they seek information on Google vs non-Google
    social media platform in the pre-purchase phase
  • Women’s Fashion Wear: 2.3x more people say they seek information on Google vs nonGoogle social media platform in the pre-purchase phase

It is important to mention here that the data also revealed that there are 44 million internet connections in Pakistan and 154 million mobile data subscribers. Pakistan is home to 40 million smartphone users out of which 31% uses 3G or 4G technology. Whereas the economy witnessed a whopping growth of 92% YoY in 2018.

Shoppers prefer Google Seach which means a customer can be influenced on Google Search during their path to purchase.

  • Skincare: Pakistani shoppers spend 2x more sessions on Google Search than the
    most visited non-Google social media platform when on a path to purchase a skincare
    product
  • Smartphones: Pakistani shoppers spend 2.8x more sessions on Google Search than a
    brand’s website when on a path to purchase a smartphone
  • Women’s Fashion Wear: Pakistani shoppers spend 2.3x more sessions on Google
    Search than any e-commerce platform when on a path to purchase a women’s fashion
    wear product.

The research determined that Google Search is the more often the first and final touchpoint a Pakistani shopper has when it comes to the path of purchase before the purchase of a product(s).

  • Skincare:
    i) 7.8x more people start their pre-purchase journey at Google Search than any
    other online or offline resource, including a physical store of social media
    platform.
    ii) Prior to point of sale, 4x more people end their pre-purchase journey at Google
    Search than any other online or offline resource, including a physical store of
    social media platform.
  • Smartphones:
    i) 10x more people start their pre-purchase journey at Google Search than any
    other online or offline resource, including a physical store of social media
    platform.
    ii) Prior to point of sale, 5.2x more people end their pre-purchase journey at
    Google Search than any other online or offline resource, including a physical
    store of social media platform.
  • Women’s Fashion Wear:
    i) 5.2x more people start their pre-purchase journey at Google Search than any
    other online or offline resource, including a physical store of social media
    platform.
    ii) Prior to point of sale, 4.5x more people end their pre-purchase journey at
    Google Search than any other online or offline resource, including a physical
    store of social media platform.

Since Google Search plays a vital role in the journey, this influences how ads on Google Search are more strongly recalled by visitors than ads on non-Google platforms.

  • Skincare: In the 4 weeks prior to purchase, 2x more Pakistani shoppers recall seeing
    an ad for skincare product on Google Search then on any other digital platform.
  • Smartphones: In the 4 weeks prior to purchase, 2.4x more Pakistani shoppers recall
    seeing an ad for a smartphone on Google Search then on any other digital platform.
  • Women’s Fashion Wear: In the 4 weeks prior to purchase, 2x more Pakistani shoppers
    recall seeing an ad for women’s fashion wear product on Google Search then on any
    other digital platforms.

Phase 2-3: Point of Sale and Post-Purchase

Point of sale is the exact moment when a customer is paying for the product, most often in a physical store. Whereas, post-purchase are habits exhibited by shoppers after the purchase of the product.

When consumers move on to the actual point of sale, research shows that there are a hand few of burgeoning trends that influence the customer’s decision.

  • Some shoppers are starting to adopt the consumer practice of webrooming while at the point of sale.
    a) Skincare: 3 out of every 10 shoppers say they are using digital platforms to research,
    compare, and/or review a product while in the store where they will purchase said
    product
    b) Smartphones: 4 out of every 10 shoppers say they are using digital platforms to
    research, compare, and/or review a product while in the store where they will purchase
    said product
    c) Women’s Fashion Wear: 2.5 out of every 10 shoppers say they are using digital
    platforms to research, compare, and/or review a product while in the store where they
    will purchase said product.
  • 3x more Pakistani shoppers turn to Google than any other non-Google digital platform when webrooming.

At times after a purchase has been made by the customer, they return to the store for additional information in regards to the paid-for product. The customer uses tools like e search engines, online video, websites, e-commerce platforms, and social media sites.

  • There is a primary reason in each product category for why consumers go to digital platforms
    in their post-purchase phase of the shopping journey.
    a) Skincare: Look for reviews of their purchase
    b) Smartphones: Look for reviews of their purchase
    c) Women’s Fashion Wear: Look for how-to articles

How YouTube Influences Online Shoppers in Pakistan

Yes, it’s very true! YouTube compliments Google Search when it comes it influence customers towards their path of purchase.

According to 80% of customers, they have switched in between online search and video while researching products.

On the other hand, 55% of customers have shared they first use Google Search to learn about the product and then browse YouTube to find out more about it.

The data compiled by Quantum and Ipsos also found that both Google and YouTube were digital touchpoints for shoppers who had made purchases in these 3 categories in the past 3 months.

Last but not least, it was also found that 68% of Pakistanis claim YouTube is a useful tool when searching for brand and product information. Whereas 50% have shared that ads on the platform have influenced them into a final decision maker whether they want to proceed with the purchase or not.

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