Online spending gets a boost on Black Friday

Updated November 29, 2015

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KARACHI: Black Friday turned out to be a boon for manufacturers and designers, particularly those offering their wares online, in terms of sales, market watchers believe. They cited marketing campaigns focused on special sale deals by multiple companies and rush in markets.

Head Communications and PR at Daraz.pk Saman Javed said more than 1.5 million people visited the website on Friday.

“Our company received 55 times more orders than a regular day,” she said. “Total value of customer discounts on products sold was Rs132 million.” More than 8,000 mobile phones sold before noon on that day, she added.

Around 30 per cent of orders were delivered on Black Friday itself. More fridges and washing machines sold on the day than ever in a single day in the history of Daraz.pk. Almost a third of transactions were pre-paid and 25pc of the traffic was from the app, she said.

Kaymu Pakistan Managing Director Adam Dawood said his company offered over 500 deals in several product categories including electronics, gadgets, clothing, mobiles, etc.

The company received orders from 168 cities of Pakistan, of which around 60pc were from Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad, and around 40pc from the smaller cities.

Dismissing the impression that the shopping euphoria was limited to posh areas, he said, “12pc of total orders in Karachi were from Korangi and Landhi, which are middle to low income localities of Karachi.”

Around 50pc of orders came from mobile phones and 50pc from desktop computers. Winter items were the most ordered, with winter wear and hoodies being the highest sold products, he said.

It is hard to ascertain the actual sales volume in rupee terms on Black Friday, but a massive turnout of buyers at various on-spot outlets and the number of orders poured in via mobile phones and other online options suggest higher sales.

Many people believed that major stores, especially those of readymade garments in Pakistan, offer heavy discounts to clear old stocks, sometimes with minor defects, while many people believe that prices are pushed up before chopping them down in the name of clearance sale.

In most cases, attractive discounts ranging from 70-80pc are offered on damaged items. However, some branded companies clearly inform the customers about the defect in readymade garments on which prices were discounted.

Keeping the perception of Friday in a Muslim society, online vendor HomeShopping.pk changed the name to White Friday “because in Pakistan, Friday is never black”. Some others let people choose their own colours: “Colour Your Friday. Black Friday? Not on our watch,” their advertisements read.

Published in Dawn, November 29th, 2015