LAHORE: The increasing popularity of online shopping ahead of Eid-ul-Fitr among Pakistanis has upset the traders of local markets.

With the advent of technology and internet people are exposed to wide range of things which are easily accessible to us as the whole world is just a click away.

The changing trend of shopping among the consumers is replacing the traditional way of shopping and slows down the sales of giant shopping malls and local markets including Sadaar Bazaar, Ichra Bazaar, Pace shopping centre, Model Town Bank Square Market and Liberty Market.

According to a survey conducted by The Nation on Wednesday in bazaars and markets, shopkeepers are selling all the stuff at comparatively higher prices as compared to last year.

On Facebook different brands are offering Eidul Fitr discounts from 20 percent to 40 percent to lure the potential customers who are always looking for these kinds of deals.

Darak.pk is offering 20 percent discount on shoes, 40 percent discount on stylish jewellery, 70 percent on kids fashion and toys. The website strives to make sure that the best collections of designer clothing and fashion shoes are brought onto your computer screen.

The famous brands Kayseria, Khaadi, Sana Safinaz, Gul Ahmed, Amir Adnan have started selling their new collections like hot cakes on internet. To establish e-commerce industry banks and telecommunication brands are offering amazing discounts on online Shopping Day for Eid and Ramadan. Thus online shopping has become an increasing popular and much liked trend which has gained a lot of momentum. If it continues to facilitate people like this it might take over the retail stores.

Talking to The Nation retailer Faisal Janjua owner of shop in Liberty Market said this year they were offering special offers to attract buyers. “I have done publicity of my products through my Facebook page. There is only a specific class who come to purchase clothes of Eidul Fitr in Liberty and elsewhere in posh areas, while large numbers of people are buying online due to special discount offers.”

“If we are selling unstitched embroidered lawn for Rs 4,000 they are selling the same product for Rs 3500 with free home delivery. We have increased the prices of all our stuff because this year there is no sale,” he said.

Jawad Malik, resident of Samanabad said he came to Ichra market to purchase suits and shoes for his children but changed his mind after finding out that they were very expensive. “There is no check on the shopkeepers. The price of a pair of standard shoes for small children ranges between Rs 600 to Rs 800 which is higher than last year,” he said.

Manager Khaadi store Amir said that those who live near shopping mall prefer to buy on their own. “In comparison the walk in sales as compared to last year has reduced. Mostly people are purchasing online and we are going out of stock this time,” he said.

Fashion designer Arsalan Iqbal was of the view e-Commerce is future of clothing line. “Awareness has improved so much that now it has surpassed retail store sales.

“If we compare the online sales with the average sales of one of our highest sales generating flagship outlet then yes, online business is going head to head,” he said. 

Another designer Erum Khan was of the view her brand has specific lines catering to each segment and price point, fulfilling the design needs of each. “Bridal wear is expensive that is the reason international buyers rather than local prefer to purchase bridal wear through online. On Eid embroidered lawn is more sold online because of the prices,” she said.

Another shopkeeper Babar Awan of Anarkali due to sweltering heat people were not coming to bazaars. “Online shopping special deals offer does not worry us.  The middle and lower middle class people come here for shopping. All day people do not come. They start coming after Iftar. Hopefully the Eid rush would start in a couple of days as Eid is around the corner,” Babar was of the view.