E-commerce is becoming popular in Bangladesh.With better access, coverage and an ever-growing internet population, the prospect for E-commerce is bright.E-commerce is more than just purchasing and offering things over the internet.E-commerce is a wider term encompassing electronic trade of business and information between computers of two or more organizations.The innovative objective of E-Commerce is to coordinate businesses and government agencies, with the capability to correspond with each other through any computer platform.
E-commerce started in Bangladesh in the late 90s.The earlier E-commerce sites were actually gift sites targeted towards the Non-Residential-Bangladeshis(NRB) living in abroad.All the sites were based in abroad and branches in Bangladesh.Ever since private Internet Service Provider(ISP) propelled internet in Bangladesh, the infrastructural improvement in the segment of telecom has helped spread the internet to get organized around the country.The expanding number of users of internet made more chances of E-commerce getting a strong foot hold.Around 14.5 percent of the population uses the internet.About 2 million users shop online every year in Bangladesh and growth rate is 20 percent.Dhaka reportedly ranks among most active Facebook users and the social network’s penetration rate is at 12.7 per cent.According to a report, 22 million users in Dhaka are on social media.This means Bangladesh is a good market for any type of business wanting to sell online.
According to U-Lab e-commerce report series, Bangladesh has led to a 72% growth in e-commerce transactions, with business-to-consumer (B2C) accounting for 90% of all transactions.With over 60% of online shoppers between the ages of 25 and 34, the market is young and tech-savvy.Cash-on-delivery constitutes 95% of all the payments that take place, followed by bkash/Ukash, bank/wire transfer, and credit cards.These statistics are expected to change in the next 5-10 years as regulations for online payments with credit cards mature, and overall financial literacy of citizens, increase.
There are number of E-commerce and online shopping companies in Bangladesh, including AjkerDeal, Bagdoom, Bikroi.com, Ekhanei,kabuliwalaa.com and Amikinee.com.Many companies have been developed to provide support services to e-commerce companies, such as e-Courier, Pathao, and GoFetch.Recently Amazon and Alibaba were reportedly planning to create their network in Bangladesh.
Currently three types of E-commerce are popular in Bangldesh.They are Business-to-Business (B2B), Business-to-Consumer (B2C), and Consumer-to-Consumer (C2C).
Compared to other countries,Bangladesh is a late entrant in E-commerce.Yet this sector observed tremendous growth within a short time.E-commerce can be the next major driver of economic development but there are some issues that need to be addressed.Logistics and the transportation system are still challenges in Bangladesh.Also the stagnant traffic hampers fast delivery of products.Another big challenge lies in how to turn around the market despite a shortage of capital.This has forced some companies to resort to capital-efficiency to survive.There are two key expense segment that E-commerce organizations will need to oversee with a specific end goal to expand net margin and accomplish growth.First is the customer procuring expenses.These arise as the stock quality is higher than the expense of gaining another client.Therefore, rehash utilization is critical to profitability.Second is delivery costs.These costs arise as E-commerce organizations must take care of the expense of conveying products to purchasers.This will keep on putting a strain on margin and also capital necessities in the short-to-medium term as E-business look to build their conveyance arms.Other than these, security issue and data theft, connective coverage and speed, price of bandwidths, lack of education, fragile economy, power shortage, unavailable internet facility, improper standardization of Bengali software, discontinuous human resource, and most importantly absence of proper copy right laws, together put an adverse effect on the growth of E-commerce.
Besides those challenges wide use of technology has opened new doors and opportunities that enable expansion of E-commerce sector of Bangladesh.Variation in products, quick services, and reduced prices are three significant ways in which online business can influence people from all over the country.
Rubaida Akter,Content Writer,Youth School for Social Entrepreneurs -YSSE