The Financial Express

Gaining trust key to sustainability of online marketplace

| Updated: June 06, 2022 10:54:40

Entrepreneurs tell a panel discussion of 'Bangladesh Ecommerce Summit-2022' Entrepreneurs tell a panel discussion of 'Bangladesh Ecommerce Summit-2022'

Gaining customers' trust alongside ensuring product authenticity and timely delivery is the key to sustainability of online marketplaces, opined successful e-commerce entrepreneurs on Saturday.

They also suggested that e-commerce entrepreneurs, no matter what products or services they want to sell, take long-term plans and study market dynamics before starting the business.

The views came at a panel discussion held at the first-ever 'Bangladesh Ecommerce Summit-2022', organised by the Bangladesh Brand Forum at a hotel in the city's Khilkhet. The theme of the event was: 'Revitalising the E-Commerce Industry'.

The panel discussion titled 'From Heart of Cart: Creating a Love Language between Products and People' was participated by Shajgoj Ltd Co-founder and CCO Sinthia Sharmin Islam, Priyoshop Founder and CEO Asikul Alam Khan, and pickaboo.com Founder and CEO Morin Talukdar, while Dotlines Chief Growth Officer Rean Rahman moderated the session.

Sharing her experience as an entrepreneur, Ms Sinthia said an entrepreneur had to have the mindset to take at least five-to-ten-year-long strategic planning before coming to business because it would take time to be successful in a venture.

She said, "In 2013, when we initiated the operation of Shajgoj, a beauty and personal care e-commerce, we had no sales point or efficient supply chain to deliver products to the customers."

"But within a short time, we managed to win customers' hearts with authentic cosmetics and other personal care items as our local market is flooded with counterfeit products."

Now, the e-commerce platform handles around 5,000 orders per day fulfilling the desire of customers, of which more than 90 per cent are women, of using original products, the Shajgoj CCO noted.

Talking about the future market of beauty products in Bangladesh, she said there was a huge potential to establish local cosmetics brands because the country already had a vibrant pharmaceutical industry that could utilise the scope.

Meanwhile, Morin Talukdar, CEO of Pickaboo, which sells mobile phones and electronics, said during the initial stage of business, it was quite a challenge to deliver authentic gadgets in time to the valued customers.

Providing quality after sales service, warranty and repair is very important to gain trust of customers who purchase electronics products online, he said.

Currently, around 67 per cent of the payments at pickaboo.com are done digitally that proves the trust level of customers on the platform, Mr Talukdar mentioned.

Besides, Priyoshop, one of the oldest online marketplaces in the country, maintained good relations with the product suppliers because they are the lifeline of the supply chain in any business, said the platform's CEO Mr Alam.

Meanwhile, at a keynote session, Zia Ashraf, COO of online grocery solution provider Chaldal.com, said the pandemic was the game changer for online business in Bangladesh as the lockdown somewhat convinced people to purchase online.

Before the pandemic, Chaldal had the capacity to handle around 3,000 orders per day but the pandemic caused an abnormal surge in orders that almost collapsed the entire supply chain, he said.

"But recovering from the initial shock, we raised the number of delivery personnel and warehouse which now allow us to handle over 16,000 orders per day," he informed.

Currently, Chaldal has expanded its services to nine cities with its 31 warehouses while it has also started exploring offline services too, he said, adding: "Under an agreement to the World Food Programme (WFP), we deliver around 50 tonnes of rice everyday to Rohingya camps in Cox's Bazar district."

The day-long summit hosted a total of three keynote sessions, three panel discussions, four insight sessions, two case studies, one fireside chat, and one deep dive session.

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