As the urban people becoming increasingly busy, they now have hardly enough time to physically go to market for daily purchases, which has caused a rise in online shopping in Bangladesh.
According to the Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS), the annual online sales amount to nearly Tk200m in the country.
An approximate number of 40 e-stores are serving to the country’s online shoppers supplying a variety of products including groceries, foods, cloths, home appliance, electronics, jewelleries, books, shoes etc.
“I choose online shopping for buying groceries. Traditional shopping is a time-consuming process while online shopping is a quick and easy system,” said Tahmina Choudhury, a banker living at the capital’s Bashundhara Residenmtial Area.
With the easier and more expanded access to internet, a growing number of people are now using internet in Bangladesh, which also helps to boost e-commerce.
Bangladesh Telecommunication Company Ltd says the country currently has about 40m internet users.
“It’s a good sign for Bangladesh that the online shopping is on the rise. I hope it will be as it is now in China,” said Fahim Mashroor, former President of BASIS.
He said: “The volume of online sales is now around Tk200m per annum. To increase it further, the government should reduce internet bandwidth prices while the traders need to do extended publicity to make it more popular.”
Nabil Rahman, an online shopper in Dhaka, said: “This is a more convenient system as I don’t have to leave home for buying. I can do it round the clock.”
The e-stores are focusing on products necessary in consumers’ daily life and offering goods like foods, clothes, home appliances and electronics. However, more items are being included on supply list given the demand of that product.
The buyers need to pay a service charge on the basis of the area to get the products supplied.
In Bangladesh, the local shoppers pay either on cash or through debit or credit cards or bKash service and the international shoppers make payment through paypal or payza.
“On the basis of our customers’ demand, we supply goods which include grocery, meat, beverage, dairy items, snacks and frozen or canned foods,” said Zia Ashraf, Chief Executive Officer of Chaldal.com.
“It’s a new idea, which we would like popularise,” he added.
Zia Ashraf said they do not charge for delivery of goods but if the customers ask for delivery within four hours of order, an amount of Tk200 is charged.
According to the CEO, Chaldal.com covers the consumers living in the capital’s Baridhara, Gulshan, Banani, Dhanmondi, Niketon and Banani DOSH.
Arnab Mostafa, owner of leisfita.com which supplies jewelleries, said they target the working women who do not have enough time to go shopping.
“We take orders through online or phone calls and deliver goods by the help of BD cyclist or our own staff,” he said.
Mahbubur Rahman, CEO of t-zone.com, talked about their goal. According to him, t-zone.com aims to promote Bangladeshi brands on the global market under e-commerce.
It is a new site and the CEO thinks it will take few more days to have a wider coverage.
He said: “We are already receiving orders from Nepal, India and the UK. Response is better than expected. However, we have to wait some more days to get a wider network” he said.
According to Mahbubur Rahman, they supply their own brands.
Ataur Rahman, of Bangladeshbrands.com, also laid emphasis on local brands. “Our target is to promote Bangladesh brands on the global market and grab the opportunity of exports.”
He added their payment system is “100% secured and approved by Bangladesh Bank.”
“Our clients are allowed to pay through international master cards and Brac Bank’s debit card and bKash service,” said Ataur.
Their main customers are students and service holders living in the city away from family.
Ataur said: “The response was huge last year with a turnover of Tk3.6m. During Ramadan alone, the figure was Tk2.7m.”