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Online Shopping: A Potential Sector to be nurtured for 'Digital Bangladesh'

Publish On : 14/06/2017

The whole world business is converting to e-commerce which we call digital business. We can say this business is internet business because its development is completely based on internet. Recently we see that our common people involved in e- commerce business by creating small face book page or e commerce site and selling goods. From this perspective, online Eid shopping in Bangladesh, has now gained huge popularity as buyers can purchase their suitable products staying at home without facing any travel hassle or traffic tailback on the city street. According to the businessmen and traders familiar to the online shopping process across the country, the response of the sellers or consumers and customers is getting higher than the previous years. The online shopping specially on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr, the biggest religious festival of the Muslims, has increased tremendously as people want to get rid of the time-losing, huge traffic tailback on the city street. The busy movements of courier services in the capital and also in the port city as well as response through different social media including facebook, e-shopping is getting momentum at the end of month of Ramadan.

Razib Ahmed, President of eCab believes that the e-commerce or online shopping in our country to be in much better condition than before and it has the potential enough considering the current business growth of ecommerce locally. The young entrepreneurs of ecommerce are contributing our local economy, so we need to promote them by using online for shopping and trade. On the other hand online shopping is saving your time and money along with your contribution in our economy. Bangladesh Post office and other trade associations along with government concerns are very much positive towards the development of ecommerce in Bangladesh and that is the right time for us to enrich our digital economy by digital shopping- he added.

More than 20,000 purchases a day were made on the country's e-commerce market during the month of Ramadan last year, according to market insiders. Accurate figures on online sales are hard to come by as most of the payments are made in cash upon delivery of products.

According to the World Bank, Bangladesh recorded retail sales of $10-12 billion during the two Eid festivals in a span of three months in 2014. Riding on the rapid growth of the internet and mobile phone use across the country, around 500 e-commerce sites and more than 3,000 Facebook-based traders are now selling goods online. As most of the e-commerce sites are based on Facebook, advertisements for products on the popular social networking site have also gone up in recent times.

Mostly youths and job holders have set in motion the online shopping culture in the country and it is really a fact that troublesome Eid shopping has now become a matter of minutes.

A New Trend of Shopping

This trend however is on the path of change with the slow but steady emergence of online shopping in Bangladesh. Now, many of the busy urbanites find online shopping to be a better option for themselves than to roam around the shopping malls, even on occasions like Eid. Huge money is spent across the world to conduct research work on customer behavior. The search engines and the social media feed are well tuned in line with those research works. The intelligent software immediately detects customer’s behavior and post advertisements according to that.

Suppose a person clicks sponsored advertisements of a shoe store in his Facebook feed. Then from the shoe website, he somehow went to a clothing website and browses three or four other clothing websites for shirts.

Then the intelligent design of Facebook algorithm has the data that this customer is looking for a shirt. After that the advertisements of several shirt stores are automatically posted in the Facebook feed of that particular person basing on the data. It’s not about eid only. Because of these advertisements, people get habituated with shopping online. Increasingly it becomes a part of their life.

Mohammad Abdur Rouf, COO of Aarong, states that as per the rapid growth of online shopping in Bangladesh, people are becoming habituated to online purchase and hopefully it will increase further in during this EID. We are very much concern in our online presence also and getting very good response out of it. Consumers get time to choose the product sitting at home and this helps them to make a good decision comparing the others available in online and sometimes they can visit physically, too, to confirm the quality in case of confusion. Online shopping is an advanced mode of shopping that enhances the brand value of your product globally.

Online Shopping Channels and Products:

Bangladesh has now at least 1000 online shopping websites including,,, e-Sufiana,,,, , Priyo Shop.Com,, BD Online Bazar,, Gadget BD, La Rouge, Kay Kraft,, Easy Shopping BD,, and These online shopping centers are displaying different items for men, women & kids including footwear, clothing, watches, sunglasses, gift items, books, mobile phone, digital camera, tab, electronics and even grocery items. These products are usually sold through e-mail or different social networking website or social media including Facebook where new products commonly known as Eid collection products are photographed with its price. Expatriate Bangladeshis are also buying these products through online now-a-days. Apart from items of men, women and kids, jewelry items are also sold in online and the online sale is getting increased significantly year by year. As the Eid-ul-Fitr comes nearer, the sale of products through online gets on the rise.

Advantages of Online Shopping

The Internet has reformed the way we shop as a result of the various advantages for online shopping site in Bangladesh. The growth of the online shopping communities in Bangladesh is clearly having an impact on how people shop. With more shopping options the Bangladeshi people are leaving the retail stores and buying everything from clothing to electronics online.

So what is driving this move from traditional shopping to online options? There are several reasons that online shopping has taken off in Bangladesh, some attribute the trend to the growth of social media marketing and the people becoming more tech savvy. But that is just one of the benefits that are driving more and more people to the online marketplace.

The accommodation is the greatest liven. Where else would we be able to serenely shop at midnight while in your nightgown? There are no lines to hold up in or shop collaborators to attend to help us with our buys, and we can do our shopping in minutes. Online shops give us the chance to shop every minute of every day, and further more compensate us with a ‘no contamination’ shopping background.

Basically, from students to grandfather, everyone could be beneficial by online shopping. Now, it’s time to move online shopping and get the full benefits from it utilizing our time and resource to optimize it for our daily needs. If we are outside of Dhaka city, then we must try this even for a few products. Time has changed a lot. Now we can shop not only from inside Bangladesh but also from abroad. We can actually send even your fruits and vegetables to large home appliances online.

This framework gives best items among customers and organizations too. Individuals discover brisk input in online due to its helpful in all perspectives. When individuals get its elements and administrations they can pay effectively. Conversely, individuals can purchase and offer their items effectively with a brisk online exchange.
Online shopping is more beneficial for women or job holders. It’s often hard to maintain daily shopping while we are regular service holders. In the time of festivals like EID, we can find whole new collection and discounts online which is cheaper than shopping mall price.

Online shopping is another great marketing tool for the brand owners. They can easily promote their brands and own product. They also can earn good revenue from online selling.

Fahim Mashroor, CEO of thinks that online shopping has been exploring the advanced opportunity for shopping specially in occasion in our country. It is comfortable than the traditional shopping specially during the Ramadan. People became scary sometimes with the extreme gatherings is shopping malls during this period. So I think it is the best choice for shopping in the busy cities like Dhaka. Yes, there are some challenges to provide smooth service in online not to have the level playing platform. The BTRC should play an effective role regarding e-commerce business so that all players can get level playing field. Because the telephone operators have their own database to connect and promote their online shopping service where the normal business man cannot get this opportunity. That needs to be addressed to enhance the ecommerce growth in Bangladesh.

The trend to shop online is an easy way to shop. We don’t have to spend time getting dressed and traveling to the shopping mall or market. Online shopping is quick and easy. We don’t have to deal with traffic or wait in long lines. We can also shop any time, as online stores are always open. Internet grants us to buy at whatever point of the day, even outside normal working hours. For a few stores, we should hold up until the store is occupied with head races. Regardless of whether we require a super-midnight or at a youthful hour in the morning to make a go at shopping, we can acclimate to our travel time is definitely not hard to make our purchase. Shopping online not only saves our time but it also gives us a quick option to compare price before buying it silently. We can visit several websites from our home within few clicks.

We also can save money in shopping online. Online stores don’t have to worry about real estate, so the money saved can result in lower prices for shoppers. Online shopping sites also offer great discounts and offers, which can save us even more. There are more options to choose from online shopping that allows us to browse through hundreds of items and we are more likely to find things in our size when shopping online. And we don’t have to worry about the dreaded dressing room. Most online retailers make returning an item easily, so we don’t have to bargain with a salesperson to try to return or exchange an item.

Talking about the limitation of online shopping Ashish Chakrabarty, COO, SSL Wireless told that payment gate way is still a complication for online shopping. Because consumers are not willing to pay in online due to the lack of right information and trust in online transaction. On the other hand the card penetration is limited among the divisional districts only. But the potential of ecommerce is huge in the different cities and sub divisional areas around the country where cash on delivery cost more than online. So the local concerns should come forward to invest to promote the business as the foreign companies are focusing our local market to control.

Online shopping is a low-pressure situation, there is no one trying to convince us to buy things we don’t need which makes for a much more pleasant shopping experience and allows us to buy items we really want or need. Online shopping gives their customers best items and in addition administrations at the sensible prize. For this element, individuals more draw in on it.

Challenges of Online Shopping

Shopping online is not new to Bangladesh, but is has grown in popularity over the last few years. However, there are a few challenges that come with growth. Paying online is not a popular idea for shoppers. Many prefer paying in cash for their items when they are delivered as there is concern about items arriving after making an online payment.

Delivery can also be a concern, as some of the larger e-commerce sites may not have logistics in place to deliver their items efficiently and often reach out to established third-party companies to manage their deliveries.

But while challenges exist, the majority of people still see buying things online as a better way to shop. And the majority of online shoppers trust the online shopping companies they choose to spend their money with. With electronics and smart-phones being the most commonly purchased items, Bangladesh is becoming a larger part of the Asian e-commerce scene.
Although people are getting habituated to buying online but trust is a big issue. Mostly the idea of selling online is premature. People think of Facebook as a platform to sell their products, whether they don’t yet feel the importance of selling product from their website and promoting them in Facebook and other social media. So the whole understanding of e-commerce business is yet not developed.

The main problem online shopping companies face in Bangladesh is the lack of customers who are ready to use debit/credit cards for regular purchases. There’re only 4 million debit cards and less than 800K credit cards issued in the country that has a huge 160 million population. But even out of this small number only 1% of debit card holders use their cards through POS machines or online. 99% of users activate them at ATMs only. Even, due to financial loss, there also exists a risk for the e-commerce sites to get shut down which we recently witnessed in our country.  Bangladesh market is still in a state of dormancy. However, after it wakes up, the e-commerce market will rife up with dizzying opportunities.

Payment gate way is another obstacle for e-commerce. Willingness is a big problem to pay in on line. Except Dhaka, Chittagong and Sylhet, digital card penetration is very poor. Lots of fraud cards are available in market. Foreign company shows big interest to own small payment Gateway Company of Bangladesh. If they own any small company then how they will run in market, no guide line available.

I am enjoying the online shopping since last 2 years as it has offered me a lot and I can spend my convenient time for shopping sitting on my couch. There are verities of choice and discount offers in online shopping sites on the occasion of EID. I have found a site where I saw so many discount offers in different product. It is really amazing. Truly sometime I need to confirm the quality of the products as the sites don’t have the 3D option to display the product then I visit the shop physically but it is still comfortable than the traditional shopping . And as being a busy processionals online shopping just like a consent to me –Said Dr. Ruksana Afroze.

Investment is also a big problem for e-commerce. We can’t get traditional investment from local bank that’s why we look forward for the alternative options. Dependency on Cash on delivery is very high in our country which creates problem.

On the other hand, though some companies offer free flat rate shipping, it still may come at a cost. For instance, a clothing store may offer free shipping but at a costly purchase rate. In case of being impatient, waiting for product to be delivered can be a pain. There is a lack of instant gratification and even possibilities of delay when it comes to receiving the required items.

Moreover, if an item comes damaged or not as described, the customer will definitely want to return the item or be refunded his or her money. Depending on where he/she purchased the item, there can be different policies for refunds and returns; this process is tedious and is prolonged since he/she would have to ship back the item and wait on the buyer to refund his/her payment.
The growth of online shopping is in and of itself a benefit, as it means more e-commerce sites will join the marketplace, which can increase the products and services available online. With all new ideas, this new industry will go further.

Tips for Betterment in E-Commerce Sector

To make e-commerce sector of successful in our country, we need the help of all aspects of people as well as government and business industry to cope up or overcome access to computer of household should be increased, the cost of using internet should be affordable to the general people, users of the software should be simpler for easier usage and lastly, its usage should be made as easy as TV and newspaper, so that it requires unsophisticated skills.

Apart from these recommendations, Government should nurse the e-commerce entrepreneurs in Bangladesh where all players would get equal opportunity. Mobile operators should not get involved in e-commerce business and besides, we need to be careful enough, so that the small businesses don’t get demolished. we should set up an API exchange For our country, we should set up an API exchange. To avoid fake products, customers should buy from credible e-shops and online stores have to improve the quality of their products and services to become an alternative to bricks-and-mortar stores.

The online Shopping has become the common choice among the young generation of us. And they are the major portion of our population. So potential of the digital business cannot be ignored anymore. We need to create and digital business ecosystem to enjoy the real benefit of ecommerce. And credit and debit cards are the finest and safe way to use for online shopping. There are numbers of institutions are offering different discount and gift offer to shop online by using cards. But the financial institutions are still in the position where issuing a card is a big job and that is discouraging the consumer to have a card and shop in online using it. Finally it is keeping us behind in digital transaction a lot- said Syed Mohammad Kamal, Country Manager, MasterCard.

Finally, the procedure to shop online should be comprehensive for all and expanded outside Dhaka as well. For instance, if a customer from remote area wants to purchase such a product which is usually not available over there, e-commerce site will be the best option for him or her. In that case, firstly internet must be made available to all and everyone should be educated to operate computers and browse internet as well. These can be considered some of the pre-requisites for the expansion of online shopping or e-commerce sector in our country.

Last Words:

The application and usage of e-commerce or online shopping is still limited in Bangladesh. This sector is not so much developed in our country yet. The reasons behind are many, but the main reason is that our country is not so developed and most of the people in our country are poor and uneducated. So, it is normal that very few customers who are interested in e-commerce. But this condition can possibly be changed if we develop our telecommunication infrastructure, government awareness and people’s interest.

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