Today, no other platform or business model is as powerful, quick and hugely profitable as E-commerce but Pakistan has not yet been able to capitalise on it in any grand way. Why? Three steps to fix it, so let’s go deeper. Overview, just when super techies like Steve and Bill were toying in Radio Shack electronic stores the leading high demand skills of the period were ‘catalogue-merchandising-marketing’ an American invention aged and cured since late 1800 as introduced by Montgomery Ward department stores and their deep philosophy of catalogue marketing. The science evolved and philosophy matured all the way to current period. By the time the young techies primed and created Silicon Valley the concept of doing merchandising and selected catalogue selling transformed very quickly into E-commerce. Fact: Not all business models are merchandizing-catalogues and not all websites are e-commerce sites. Today fancy websites selling, trading or distributing anything are all called being in e-commerce; they may be but surely not specialized business models of E-commerce that demands extraordinary merchandising and retail management blended and mixed value-added features. Furthermore, absence of extreme customization with premium goods and services for premium prices, along with special guarantees and backed by sophisticated organizational support …eliminates the philosophical mindsets of Montgomery model…leaving a confused website operation in warehouse dust. Unless leadership is ready to demonstrate such advanced skills and understanding E-commerce models are simple trading websites pretending to be e-commerce models. Unless, the merchandising and customization balance is juxtaposed to pricing and delivery of promise models these websites are mostly at standstill. Unless management can prove deeper understanding global markets, customer acquisition and retention models, these website-based models almost become a joke. Pakistan is an E-commerce goldmine for some very special reasons and at times a sleeping market. It has amazing untapped goods, undiscovered talents, amazing global diaspora and now the amazing emergence of 5 billion online community. But why? Unless management can prove deeper understanding global markets, customer acquisition and retention models, these website-based models almost become a joke.Pakistan is an E-commerce goldmine for some very special reasons and at times a sleeping market. It has amazing untapped goods, undiscovered talents, amazing global diaspora and now the amazing emergence of 5 billion online community. But why? In the recent years, Pakistan never had a high-level superior exchange either as Forums or Round-Tables discussions on these subjects focused on the Backbone Philosophy of E-commerce, calibrated with top high-level national options to make a dent in this global foreign exchange earning market. Conventional technology-based conferences and Social media centric agency campaigns labeled as e-commerce, are not the real backbones of transforming of catalogue merchandising expertise into electronic commerce. On the other hands, the copycats of Alibaba are simply seeking flip-flop, hit and run, wall street style acquisitions for the fake markets…a ‘no-no rule’ of the philosophy…as without longevity there is no loyalty and without loyalty there is no E-commerce…these just become sinking trading posts operated with hit and run digital campaigns to sell trendy goods and commodities and all based on marginal profitability as a device to compete. This is where the principal laws of e-commerce are seriously broken. “Special customer, selectively receiving special items with greatest care and services at premium rates” “Such standards create loyalties and catalogue merchandizing is based on repeated frequencies, thus reducing the cost of client acquisition”. Absence of the philosophy is the reason that E-commerce is Pakistan is still at infancy or non-existence. The three steps quick triangulation audit is mandatory; Firstly, that e-commerce is customized; and personalized goods and services are delivered at premium rates. Secondly that success is measured by repeat order frequencies. Lastly that, sophisticated merchandising and design skills are mandatory to be able to match and attract high net-worth and upper echelon customers with special needs. There are 10 other key factors to check, like when a kitten falling in a bowl of soup may create million views but no sales, or when the name of the E-commerce website is just lost in the zillions, or when cheap basement store mentality creates more red ink without singing cash registers. Unless there is courage to face the bold challenges, such website based illusionary projects are destined to disappear. The writer is Chairman, Expothon Worldwide, creator of Octara-Debates www.expothon.com Published in Daily Times, October 22nd 2018.