E commerce giant Daraz recently announced that they will be introducing the first ever online “Black Friday” sales on November 27 this year, offering astronomical discounts and price cuts for bargain hunters around Bangladesh. Set to be the first and largest event of its kind in the history of Bangladesh's e-commerce industry, this decision has come soon after they received a $56 million funding, one they mean to inject into Bangladesh, Myanmar and Pakistan - three emerging markets where they already operate.
“Black Friday is a concept that comes from Europe. It's one of the biggest sales event in the US alone. Last year, on one day, 40 billion dollars revenue was gathered in the US through online sales alone. We don't have any sales event like that here. That's when we thought let's bring that event to Bangladesh and introduce this amazing event to shoppers around the country. We intend to make this the biggest e-commerce sales event in the country,” said Dr Jonathan Doerr, Co-CEO of Daraz Asia.
An online e-commerce giant modelled on Amazon, Daraz has quickly secured a top place in Bangladesh's booming e-commerce sector, having around two million people visit their website last month alone. With barely over a year in operation, they have around 200 people working for Daraz Bangladesh, equally split between their warehouse and their central Banani office. Essentially a marketplace for high-end brands, Daraz has everything from local fashion brands such as Yellow, Ecstasy and Noir to mobile brands such as Samsung, HTC and Sony under their umbrella.
For their upcoming event, they are currently in talks with several top brands, trying to secure deals and discounts that go up to 70%. Usually considered to be a favoured website for tech geeks looking for discounts on laptops, TVs and phones, their Black Friday sale will have a lot more than just large discounts on electronics. “Most people think Black Friday is an event that focuses on electronics only, but many fashion brands play a substantial role in Black Friday sales. Our fashion team is currently working very very hard to get huge discounts from fashion brands so there's definitely a lot for people to look out for,” he added.
Daraz.com.bd Black Friday, Nov 27
Top 5 items to look out for: Phone, Laptops, TVs, Fridge and Fashion
Currently, local fashion brands on Daraz include Bata, Apex, Wood & Pecker, Noir, Texmart, Dorjibari, Doors, O2 among others. Interestingly, they also have a range of international brands such as Tommy Hilfiger, Dockers, Bershka, Wrangler and even Calvin Klein. They also have an impressive spread of brands for make-up aficionados: Mac, MUA, The Body Shop and Tilat Khayer are just a few brands part of the make-up brigade.
While electronics and fashion items take the lead when it comes to sales, home appliances, sports and fitness accessories and even children's toys are part of the large spread of goods Daraz has on offer.
With Black Friday a little over a month away, the hype for the event is already reaching fever pitch as company executives hint at discounts and the possibility of “breaking the Internet” with their offers. To ensure that the Friday deals run smoothly without any breaks or interruptions, they are preparing their teams as well as their servers to deal with the onslaught of frenzied shoppers.
“Besides making our IT section ready for this event and preparing ourselves for the huge amount of people coming to our website, we also want to make sure we have enough customer service agents who can receive our calls because some of our customers place their orders via phone calls.”
Anticipating a staggeringly large turnout of shoppers, it seems like those who can ace the game of “fastest finger first” will be the ones who can snag the biggest deals. “We will have a lot of products but with the huge discounts we're offering, there will be a huge demand too. And of course, buyers need to be extremely fast to get these deals. We are sure that Thursday, at midnight, many will be sitting on their computers or with their phones (if they're using the Daraz app), ready to get their hands on the biggest deals before anyone else does. If there's one thing we know, you have to have the fastest fingers to be able to bag the best deals,” Doerr excitedly added.
Meant to be a one day event, some of the special deals and discounts may extend over to Saturday and Sunday, giving shoppers another reason to brace themselves for the last weekend in November. To purchase an item, the same buying format will be followed with buyers selecting a product, placing it in their carts, filling in their contact details and having it delivered over to them.
Usually Daraz takes two to four days to deliver within Dhaka and seven days outside the capital. Their customer service team will also be prepared to accommodate buyers who order via calls rather than through their website or app.
The Daraz team are anticipating partnerships with some of the most popular brands in the industry, but have refused to mention names or discount percentages. “Let's just say, this will be one of the biggest e-commerce sales, with discount offers that are hard to resist. We want to create an exciting event so we aren't going to let everyone in on our deals that quickly. The deals or discounts won't be released until midnight, Friday. Even our vendors won't know what other vendors are offering. These deals are so exciting we won't release them until the day itself,” Doerr concluded.
Meanwhile, other than Black Friday, Daraz also intends to work with their first round of the investment they received from CDC Group, the UK government's Development Finance Institution and Asia Pacific Internet Group, a joint venture of German e-commerce company Rocket Internet. Unable to name numbers, they are going to be investing a part of the $56 million into Bangladesh. "A good portion of that investment is coming to Bangladesh. We can't share the exact numbers but it was the investors decision to work on this business in markets such as Pakistan, Myanmar and Bangladesh. We need substantial funding to grow the e-commerce sector since there is no e-commerce or the sector is just beginning to pick up. We have to build new industries and we have to educate the people. Internet penetration is picking up already, but it's all about educating our buyers on e-commerce and how online shopping works. For this, of course, we need money and we also need money to invest in our operations. We need money to grow our marketing and customer service teams too. We also have to invest in our operations. Overall, we just want to be able to provide the best customer experience.”