Baishakh shopping goes online as 'best' alternative

Baishakh shopping goes online as ‘best’ alternative

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Dhaka, Apr 8 – Though she struggles with two kids, everyday household chores and unbearable traffic jam on the city streets, Sharmin Akhter is worried little about her shopping to celebrate Pahela Baishakh with her family and friends as she got the ‘best’ alternative — online shopping. Online shopping is now gaining popularity in Bangladesh with the growing internet penetration.
“It (online shopping) helps us save time and avoid hazards,” says Sharmin, a housewife of Shantinagar area.
Though e-commerce made its journey in Bangladesh back in the 1990s, the lack of online payment facility and low internet penetration delayed the growth during the initial years.
But the country witnessed a significant change in 2009 and 2013 when Bangladesh Bank introduced online payments in the country and allowed the use of both credit and debit cards to buy products and services online.
In recent years, Facebook, the social media giant, has played an incredible role in boosting online entrepreneurship.
“Customers are now getting the benefits of online shopping,” Afsana Rahman who is also depending on online shopping partly as part of her preparation to celebrate Baishakh.
Clothes of all prints and fabrics, jewellery, trendy shoes and things that need for home decoration — all these things are now available to buy online.
“Yes, you need to double check. I can tell you I’ve both good and bad experiences in terms of online shopping. Quality matters. This is an area which deserves serious attention to make this growing industry sustainable,” Ariful Islam, another consumer said.
Apart from shoppers’ presence at the big shopping malls and fashion outlets, online shopping has got momentum well ahead of Pahela Baishakh.
Hilsa, in various sizes, has also been put on display by online shopping outlets ahead of Pahela Baishakh.
“We’ve launched our online shopping portal barely nine months back. But we’ve a strong presence today as we don’t compromise when it comes to quality. We deliver products within 48 hours,” Manager (Operations) at NRB Bazaar told UNB.
He said their sales volume sees a 30-40 percent rise ahead of Baishakh as they have put on display over 5,000 products in various categories.
Meanwhile, many leading fashion outlets have kept online shopping option considering the growth of online shopping industry in the country.
Ahead of Pahela Baishakh, country’s Facebook E-commerce sites and online shops are offering different promotional and discount packages. Online shops have decorated their sites with new colourful collections.
On the occasion of Pahela Baishakh, e-Commerce Association of Bangladesh (e-CAB), common platform for companies involved in the Bangladeshi e-Commerce industry, is observing e-Commerce Week from April 7-13.
General Secretary of e-Commerce Association of Bangladesh (e-CAB) Md Abdul Wahed Tomal said the online business sites generally get around 20,000 online orders a day, which rises to 30,000 ahead of Pahela Baishakh.
The product having the price of Tk 1000-2000 normally gets order more frequently, he said.
Responding to a question about their steps to ensure quality of the product, Tomal said there is a framework to ensure the quality of any online product.
“Being member, an e-commerce site needs to go into a verification process. If there’s any report against any site, then they’re alerted to maintain quality,” the e-CAB leader told UNB.
He said they have formulated a draft on online and e-commerce policy which has got approval from the ICT division. They are now waiting for cabinet approval.
The e-CAB leader also pointed out several barriers for online shopping — lack of people’s trust on online products, infrastructure for delivering products, complexities in payment, cross-border issues for overseas delivery, security for maintaining website.
As part of promotional package, Daraz Bangladesh Ltd (daraz.com.bd), an e-commerce marketplace is offering discounts of up to 77 percent on the occasion of Pahela Baishakh.
Besides, it is hosting a Baishakhi Fair from March 30 till April 14.
Ajkerdeal.com, one of the fast growing online B2C marketplaces in the country, is also offering up to Tk 400 cash back on Baishakhi products.
PriyoShop.com, another E-commerce platform, is also hosting a fair from April 4 to 14.
Along with the e-commerce site, most of the big brands in the country also have online sales.
Naa-Shee Tanyeer, owner of Jhapi, an online clothing shop of local cloths, said she has increased collections in her store ahead of Pahela Baishakh.
“On the occasion of Baishakh, we receive a lot of orders from expatriate Bangladeshis and we deliver those products to their relatives at home,” she said. – UNB

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