The dark side of e-commerce | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, September 26, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:17 AM, September 26, 2020

Editorial

The dark side of e-commerce

No law to protect compliance, consumer rights and brand reputation

A silver lining of Covid-19, which has had a devastating impact on the national and global economy, has been the rapid and unprecedented rise of e-commerce platforms and online transactions in the country. Online grocery stores, in particular, have experienced double-digit growth, while other e-service and e-commerce industries have had to diversify their products in an attempt to stay relevant to their customers during the pandemic. According to news reports, Bangladesh now has 2,500 e-commerce sites selling products worth USD 2.07 billion, and it is the 46th largest in the world in terms of e-commerce revenue.  

While all of this is no doubt encouraging, a recent discussion of industry experts highlighted the existing road blocks to the sector's continued growth, in particular the challenges to ensuring consumers' rights and compliance in an unregulated e-commerce market. For one thing, crores of transactions are taking place on a daily basis, circumventing proper legal procedures and in violation of consumer rights. Unauthorised sellers are selling counterfeit products which are hurting the image of reputed brands, but on a broader scale, also shaking people's confidence and trust in the sector in general. Even bigger platforms, such as well-known superstores, are flouting the rules. There's also no proper mechanism through which to resolve consumer dissatisfaction in products or services. With e-commerce platforms mushrooming around the country, it's difficult, if not impossible, to monitor such illegal behaviours and practices and take appropriate action, especially as Bangladesh is yet to formulate an e-commerce act to protect consumer rights and brand reputation.

For all latest news, follow The Daily Star's Google News channel.

If the government is to truly implement its "Vision 2021" to build a "Digital Bangladesh," it must pay critical attention to the needs and challenges of the sector and formulate appropriate national policies and eco-systems for e-ecommerce to develop and flourish. As of now, e-commerce is catering to a predominantly urban populace, and if it is to reach the masses, the government and public sector must work together to develop financial, legal and digital infrastructures and invest accordingly for a future that is truly digital but also accessible. Consumers must be an integral part of the process and their concerns and trust deficits must be addressed accordingly if e-commerce is to be embraced by the public.  

Stay updated on the go with The Daily Star Android & iOS News App. Click here to download it for your device.

Grameenphone:
Type START <space> BR and send SMS it to 22222

Robi:
Type START <space> BR and send SMS it to 2222


Banglalink:
Type START <space> BR and send SMS it to 2225

Leave your comments

Top News

Top News

Top