National, Back Page

Online business gains popularity

Published : 06 Oct 2020 08:58 PM | Updated : 07 Oct 2020 05:05 AM

The E-commerce sector hit a new milestone by creating employment opportunities for thousands of unemployed people amid the ongoing corona crisis.

The sector has revolutionized in the last six months by sudden increase in online business, especially during the corona period when most people living in cities, including in the capital, have become habituated to buying and selling products online.

In the beginning, gaining customer confidence and getting people accustomed to online shopping was a big challenge. Tackling this, online shopping has become popular over the past few years.Industry insiders said a new law is needed, along with a "digital commerce policy", to maintain this trend.

Entrepreneurs said online product sales have more than doubled in such a short time. New items are constantly being added to the product list on the web pages.

RasmiyahTuhfa,Managing Director ofE-commerce platform, told Bangladesh Post that, “E-commerce has grown by almost 100 per cent in the last few months. It is positive for this industry. Hopefully, this growth will continue even if the situation is normal.”

She said that since the e-commerce industry of domestic products has been established, the due respet and reputation of those who are working in the industry will gradually come. The e-commerce industry of domestic products must be big in the interest of all. The e-commerce industry of domestic products can play a big role for our economy.

 “With the rise insudden E-commerce, which is far safer and more convenient, I believe that visits to department stores or grocery shops will fall drastically in the near future,” Rasmiyah added.

Meanwhile, Commerce Minister,TipuMunshi told the Bangladesh Post, “The government has already formulated the National Digital Commerce Policy. The government will give full support for the growth or development of e-commerce in Bangladesh in line with the Vision 2021 and Digital Bangladesh.”

However, e-commerce has become a big market for daily necessities since corona started. In the last six months alone, the market size of the companies included in the E-commerce Association has stood at more than Tk 16,600 crore. This amount was only Tk 650 crore in 2016. Apart from this, the market size of F-Commerce (Facebook Commerce), e-commerce of districts and upazilas is also expanded.

According to the E-Commerce Association of Bangladesh (E-CAB), the size of the e-commerce market in Bangladesh in 2016 was Tk 560 crore, the following year it stood at Tk 8,632 crore, in 2018 it was Tk 10,504 crore, in 2019 it was Tk 13,184 crore. And this year, it reached Tk 16,616 crore.

Online companies are known to offer everything for household needs. Discounts or attractive offers are being offered for different products. Buyers also get cash-back facility when paying through digital payment gateway.

Mahfuja Khan Kanak, the owner of f-commerce based shop Kanak’s Fashion, told Bangladesh Post, “Online sales of all clothing products have doubled during the corona period and the demand for trustworthy products has increased tremendously as customers continue to order for products from home. There are a lot of fakeonline pages in f-commerce though.”

E-Cab General Secretary Abdul WaheedTamal said, “It was very challenging for us at the beginning after coronavirus started. However, due to the generous cooperation of the Ministry of Commerce, the journey was smooth to many extent.”

He said, “e-commerce is growing significantly during the corona period. Thousands of new entrepreneurs are investing in this sector. The market is changing a lot and the size of the online business industry is expanding.”

The State Minister for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Zunaid Ahmed Palak said, "We have been able to make e-commerce much more popular in the corona period than the previous years. People at almost all levels now realize the significance of e-commerce. Online shopping has grown by more than 50 percent during this time.”

MdMofizul Islam, chairperson of Bangladesh Competition Commission (BCC), told the Bangladesh Post, “All online-based commercial activities will be closely monitored soon. Although sales of online platforms have increased, the crisis of trust is not over.”