e-Commerce - the in thing
E-commerce is becoming popular in Bangladesh. With better access, coverage and an ever-growing internet population, the prospect for e-Commerce is bright. There are also challenges. A discussion on the pros and cons of e-commerce in Bangladesh is a timely debate.
What is e-Commerce? e-Commerce is more than just purchasing and offering things over the Internet like through Bikory and OLXbd. E-commerce is a wider term encompassing electronic trade of business; and information between computers of two or more organizations. The innovative objective of e-Commerce is to coordinate businesses and government agencies, with the capability to correspond with each other through any computer platform.
A question arises if the proliferation and growth e-commerce organizations is an air pocket or the tip of the iceberg. Ever since private Internet Service Providers (ISP) propelled Internet in Bangladesh, the infrastructural improvement in the segment of telecom has helped spread the Internet to get organized around the country. The expanding number of users of Internet makes more chances of e-Commerce getting a strong foot hold. Around 100 million individuals use mobile services and 15 or 20 percent individuals access versatile online Banking Services. According to Bangladesh Bank, around 1 million versatile clients access the mobile banking benefits. Over 100 crore transactions are made through mobile banking accounts.
Digging a bit deeper gives more insight to e-Commerce's future prospect and its impacts on our local economy as well as the e-Commerce stakeholders. The Government of Bangladesh has taken initiatives with a vision towards “Digital Bangladesh” to redefine our internet technology and broadband network. ISPs that offer broadband connections are presently needed to give no less than 1 Mbps.
The vast majority of the e-Commerce businesses within Bangladesh is of C2C (Consumer to Consumer). Some B2B (Business to Business) and B2C (Business to Consumers) have shown exponential growth prospects in recent years. Starting with the most popular, and first of its kind, Clickbd is an online commercial center where anybody can offer or purchase anything. The site has a solid and developing group of clients who exchange an extensive variety of things. Second in the queue is Bikroy.com, a site where Consumers can purchase and offer practically everything. They deliberately audit all ads that are, to verify that the quality conforms to Bikroy.com norms. On the other hand, OLX is the upcoming free online classifieds. On OLX users can post ads with pictures with less hassle. Unlike other portals, it shows consumers ads on their long range interpersonal social networking profile (Facebook, Myspace). With a mission to create online market and increasing sales of their merchants and create wonderful buying experience for their consumers, Akhoni.com was established. It is the leading Business to Consumer (B2C) e-commerce site. It is an online retail that empowers anybody from anyplace in Bangladesh and from far and wide to buy diverse things/items through on web. To buy on the web, anybody can use debit card, credit card, mobile payments or even pay money when accepting conveyance.
Other than the above portals there are many portals which are busy serving niche markets. Recent development of superior mobile technologies gave birth to M-Commerce. Since 2008, there has been a substantial hike in mobile connection. There are now 44.6 million mobile connections in Bangladesh from six national mobile service providers. Through the introduction of CellBazaar, a versatile business sector space where the buyers and sellers can exchange the products and services they sell or buy, people are entering the field of e-Commerce via mobile handsets. The vendors can offer or purchase items by utilizing basic SMS.
There are two key expense segments that e-Commerce organizations will need to oversee with a specific end goal to expand net margin and accomplish growth. First is the customer procuring expenses. These arise as the stock quality is higher than the expense of gaining another client. Therefore, rehash utilization is critical to profitability. Client securing expenses will decrease as the business merges and financially weaker players miss out to bigger players. Second is delivery costs. These costs arise as e-Commerce organizations must take care of the expense of conveying products to purchasers. This will keep on putting a strain on margin and also capital necessities in the short-to-medium term as e-business look to build their conveyance arms. On the other hand, in the medium-to-long term, investment in logistics will prove to be fruitful as it encourages ecommerce organizations to secure new clients and in addition hold secured established one. Other than these,security issue& data theft, connective coverage and speed, price of bandwidths, lack of education, fragile economy, power shortage, unavailable internet facility, improper standardization of Bengali software, discontinuous human resource,and most importantly absence of proper copy right laws, together put an adverse effect on the growth of e-Commerce.
The e-Commerce showcase in Bangladesh is not for the timid or those searching for an ROI in a short time span. It is additionally not without its challenges. Notwithstanding, for the main three or four organizations and their financial specialists that figure how to ride out the following 3-4 years, there are products of the soil to be a result of the possibly extensive and beneficial oligopoly that could be built in the impending years. Best thing is that, e-Commerce encourages competition and scope for expansion and exploiting a growing market. The pitfall of this competition is it also has the potential of becoming consolidated with few e-Commerce firms dominating an industry.