International researchers revealed that the consumer behavior starting from knowing about the product and ending in actual purchase; is determined through various factors. Many studies on factors affecting consumer purchase behavior of many products are obtainable. However, relatively less research has been attempted on consumer purchase behavior of foreign goods and still less research has been done in relation to Pakistani consumers. It is also identified that certain factors like reputation of country of origin, brand image and the relationship of the country with the foreign country from where products come are particularly important. It may seem tempting and more attractive and useful to compare consumer purchase behavior for domestic and foreign products.
According to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) 2017, about 97 percent of its total population of 207,774,520 inhabitants is Muslim. By 2030, the population of Pakistan will reach 245 million, an increase of 29.6 percent from 2015 and it will be the sixth most populous country in the world in 2030. During July-April 2018-19, the higher income group experienced higher inflation as it calculated at 8.4 percent and lower income registered at 4.9 percent as against to 4.4 and 2.7 percent respectively, of last year. The combined income group experienced 7.0 percent as compared to 3.8 percent previous year.
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is constructed for five income groups (a) Upto Rs.8000 (b) Upto Rs.8001-12000 (c) Upto Rs.12001-18000 (d) Upto Rs.18001-35000 (e) Above Rs.35000. According to PBS report, inflation surged by 11.4 percent yearly in September. Inflation, measured through CPI, edged up by 0.77 percent over the last month after PBS revised its calculation methodology. Based on the new base year (2015-16), September inflation came in at 11.37 percent as against to 10.49 percent in the last month. Going by the old base year of FY2008 that was being used until 2-month ago, the key inflation index comes in at 12.55 percent for September, explaining a 0.92 percent raise over the month of August. Statistics showed that lowest CPI was recorded in July at 8.4 percent which increased to 11.37 percent in September. Furthermore, the urban CPI covers 35 cities and 356 consumer items while rural tracks 27 rural centres and 244 items. The former increased by 11.6 percent yearly in September whereas the latter jumped by 11.1 percent. IMF has predicted that the country’s inflation may escalate up to 13 percent.
However, the Government of Pakistan’s estimate is almost 11 percent, which is already been crossed in the outgoing month. Analysis identified that the food inflation in urban areas increased by 15 percent in September on a yearly basis and 2 percent month-wise. In rural areas, food inflation grew 15 percent on yearly and 1.8 percent on monthly basis. Similarly, non-food inflation in urban centers was registered at 9.7 percent yearly while in rural areas it was at 8 percent. On the other hand, items that declined in urban were fresh fruits 15.64 percent and wheat 0.3 percent.
The retail and wholesale food business turnover are recorded 17 percent of GDP and the average Pakistani earner spends 42 percent of his or her income on food related items. In general, Pakistan’s upper and middle class consumers consume both domestic and imported goods, counting imported food products from the western part of the world.
Sources revealed that consumers from the Pakistani upper and middle socioeconomic class broadly support both locally produced and imported goods, counting imported food commodities. The upper and middle income classes are presently predicted at 17 million, with a relatively high per capita income which favors consumer spending. The country’s current status and future outlook clearly demonstrate an immense growth potential because of growing demand created by its demographic shift, strategic location, dynamic changes in its middle class’s lifestyle, rising urban population, and tremendous future growth in its cities’ populations, consumer spending patterns and availability of a variety of imported food products in retail outlets. Majority consumers are inclined towards imported food products in the country. Pakistan is an emerging market for the consumption of imported food items. There is strong interest from Western firms in exploring the market in the Asian sub-continent, particularly Pakistan. The potential is high given its size, economic potential and strategic position in South East Asia.
Various companies in Australia have the endorsement of their government to support Pakistan to build economic prosperity and promote sustainable, equitable development. According to the various researchers, the factors affecting Halal purchase intentions of most Pakistani customers were revealed as Halal marketing, personal and societal perception and Halal certifications, but not religious beliefs. Sales promotions and celebrity endorsements also influence Halal consumers. It was also recorded that customers are willing to spend money and efforts to buy Halal foods. It is also recorded that the subjective norms, product judgment, hostility pursued by social strain and product boycotts influenced the purchase behavior of Danish goods.
Furthermore, Pakistani consumer purchase intention of foreign counterfeit products, and it is also noted optimistic influence of word of mouth and emotions, but not perceived risks, on consumers’ counterfeit products purchase intentions. Worldwide brands were preferred over the domestic brands in general. People liked most of the features of foreign brands. Colour choice preference, brand image preference, smart features and cultural effect were the factors which determined the choice of brand when they planned to buy a mobile. Mobiles were compared for durability, user friendliness, resale value, sound quality and affordability for brand selection.