Online shops are now even selling hilsa fish ahead of the Pahela Baishakh, an annual festival that is typically celebrated with a meal centred on the delicacy.
One such e-shop is Othoba.com, which has sold about 2,000 pieces of hilsa fish of more than one kilogram each so far, according to its brand manager Nirjhar Kundu.
Not just hilsa fish, the sister concern of Pran-RFL Group is also selling products that are related to the festivities surrounding the first day of the Bengali calendar such as sweetmeat, sarees, lungis and so on.
It is also offering discounts for the Pahela Baishakh.
On an average around Tk 3 crore to Tk 4 crore worth of products are sold online every day and before festivals like Pahela Baishakh another few crores are added, said Ashish Chakraborty, chief operating officer of SSL Wireless, a digital commerce market research firm.
“But this time the industry is not getting its desired growth,” he added.
Maybe the overall economy is going slow after the general election and that impacted the e-commerce industry, said AKM Fahim Mashroor, founder of ajkerdeal.com, one of the leading local e-commerce ventures.
This year, ajkerdeal.com saw 50 percent spike in its usual sales on the occasion of Pahela Baishakh. Last year, its sales had doubled around this time.
“People might have less to spend on Pahela Baishakh.”
Another reason could be that shopping for Eid-ul-Fitr will start in a few weeks' time and people are saving up for it, which is the biggest festival in the country, Mashroor added.
PriyoShop.com is selling diamond jewellery online for the first time in Bangladesh keeping the Pahela Baishakh in mind. The site's sales have so far been below expectations, said its founder and chief executive officer Asikul Alam Khan.
But Bagdoom.com is logging in satisfactory sales, said its CEO Mirajul Huq.
Its Pahela Baishakh-centric orders started arriving from the first half of March as opposed to a week ahead of the day, which falls on April 14.
Currently, the market size for e-commerce is about Tk 1,100 crore to Tk 1,200 crore after it grew about 75 percent last year, according to SSL.
The research firm estimates the number will hit Tk 1,800 crore by the end of the year helped by a few e-commerce companies. Currently, 3,500 companies are in operation in the segment.
The daily orders come to 30,000 if the 30,000 Facebook business pages are taken into account.
The number of orders will hit 90,000 ahead of Eid, as per SSL's estimates.
“The overall e-commerce market in Bangladesh is growing and that is the most important thing,” Huq said.
Earlier this month, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development in a report said Bangladesh is poised to benefit from an e-commerce boost after laying an “exemplary” digital foundation.
The country stands to capitalise on the smart improvements it has made to bolster e-commerce-friendly infrastructure -- provided it can deliver a strategy and better logistics, it said.