Covid cranks up Bangladesh e-Commerce
Market swells 30 times in five years
Bangladesh's e-Commerce has got a big boost as its market size has swelled by 30 times over the last five years, insiders said on Sunday.
The suppliers' and customers' devotion to the online platform for conducting business and purchasing products have helped electronic trade expand in the country, they added.
According to the Bangladesh Competition Commission (CCB), the size of e-Commerce in Bangladesh climbed to Tk 166.16 billion until August of this year, roughly 29.67 times the amount in 2016.
A director of the commission said they are analysing the e-Commerce data in Bangladesh for ensuring a fair competition of the digital business in the country.
After 2016, the year-on-year online trade and commerce had started ballooning as the size of the business amounted to Tk 86.32 billion in 2017.
The figure reached Tk 105.04 billion in 2018 and Tk 131.84 billion in 2019, the CCB data showed.
Bangladesh's e-Commerce has got a better shape, especially during the lockdown enforced to slow the spread of coronavirus as people staying at home purchased almost all types of products through online shopping platforms.
The online shopping platforms like Chaldal.com, Shohoz.com, foodpanda, Ghorebazar.com, Bdticket.com, sheba.xyz, bdshops.com, daraz.com, pathao, bikroy.com, ajkerdeal.com, and bagdoom.com are popular shopping and e-Commerce sites in Bangladesh.
A Bangladesh Bank (BB) senior official told the FE Bangladesh's online and mobile payment system have boosted a lot resulting in a jump in the e-Commerce in Bangladesh.
He said since the online payment system, including the Mobile Financial Services, internet banking and other gateways have been opened and commercial banks have come forward with their paperless banking through digital platforms for their customers, the online business and shopping have grown significantly.
"The country's fundamental base of online payment system has already been established. It has already taken off. Now it is time for flying in the sky," the BB official said.
For example, the inter-bank internet banking has jumped by nearly 214 per cent in the post-COVID period compared to pre-COVID in February, he added.
Syed Almas Kabir, president at the Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS), told the FE the people have started buying vegetables to medicines through the online platforms.
"During the COVID pandemic, the digital behaviour of the countrymen has changed a lot. This has become very much helpful for the expansion of the e-Commerce in Bangladesh," he added.
The improvement of the digital payment system has also prompted the e-Commerce in the country, Mr Kabir said.
The BASIS President, however, said the delivery logistics with fair prices and supply chain management are two key challenges for future business promotions.
"If we fail to manage the two things, the online shopping platforms will lose customers and e-Commerce will ultimately be affected," Mr Kabir noted.