Businesses in Rawalpindi Turn to Digital

As the government eases the lockdown in place to combat and control the spread of Coronavirus, numerous businesses turned towards digital solutions, providing deliveries and online options for purchasing of essential items. These include several greengrocers, fruit sellers, pharmacies, departmental stores and others to utilize digital platforms to keep their sales going during the lockdown. This came into light and full effect once the government placed a ban on the Ramazan Sasta Bazaars, in an effort to prevent mass gatherings.

Through instant messaging and advertisements on social media platforms, several vendors have enabled a virtual window to their stores, and are reaching out to their customers, allowing them to order from home. The smaller traders, who were not dependent on technology thus far, are booking orders through direct calls, with their orders delivered at their doorstep for a minimal delivery fee, during the day. The curfew is observed strictly between 5pm-8am, whereas essential purchases and visits can be made during the rest of the day, allowing these businesses to get their work going as well.

With residents of the garrison city unable to venture outside, they have been slowly convinced to use this service, as it reduces their chances of contracting the virus from physical contact and from being stopped by the authorities.

With the holy month of Ramadan coming in, and the upcoming Eid-ul-Fitr, businesses including garments, shoes, jewellery and other traders have taken to social media to reach out to their regular customers as well as potential customers. This shows a new wave of micro-blogging and call it if we may, of business innovation especially from those who are otherwise not reliant on online mediums. Express Tribune reports that there are several vendors who are saying they are in the process of getting their websites up and ready, while some are banking on existing e-commerce platforms for listings. This allows vendors to focus on their service and products, without the hassle of managing their online stores, and making transitions while there are already several other business challenges that they are met with in these days.

Two birds with a stone: 

While businesses take to online mediums, the whole scenario has been mighty beneficial for self-employed motorcyclists. With an increase in demand for rider services, as most people are relying on deliveries for their basics, this is the best time for them to be in the market for the job.

According to Express Tribune, “Most bike riders, who were registered on ride-hailing services for providing commuting options, had been rendered unemployed ever since the lockdown was imposed on March 23. But with online businesses method requiring riders to deliver products, it has been a turn in fortunes for them. They are being offered decent wages along with a handsome commission percentage on each delivery.”