E-commerce and digital shopping platforms expect another boom in their business with the country entering a fresh weeklong lockdown on Monday when shopping malls will remain closed.
Meanwhile, the Cabinet Division has called upon the countrymen to avoid eating out and refrain from going to shopping malls except for daily essentials till 11 April in the wake of a sharp rise in the Covid-19 cases.
Following the government move, online shopping platforms and the e-commerce association have taken several initiatives to take the role and keep their business on.
Some online shopping companies have already hired new delivery heroes or staff while others offer free home delivery of products.
Currently, the country has 1,500 e-commerce companies and more than one lakh Facebook-based shopping platforms dealing around 1.2 lakh orders daily.
The sector has seen a 150-200% growth since the coronavirus broke out in the country in March last year, when the country went into a 66-day shutdown to curb the spread of the deadly virus.
Daraz, the largest e-commerce shopping platform of the country, has taken several initiatives to keep digital shopping safe during the lockdown.
In a statement, Daraz said that it has directed its delivery agents to wear masks and gloves while delivering products to customers' doorsteps. It has also put emphasis on touch-less delivery and transactions.
Apart from this, the country's largest e-commerce company has asked its officers and staff members to work from home for their own safety.
Evaly, one of the leading e-commerce companies in Bangladesh, has put standby around 6,000 staff, who used to do roster duty, for delivering grocery and daily essential products to customers.
"Maximising the focus on people's instant need amid lockdown, Evaly has initiated the delivery of grocery items in one hour and mobile phone sets and electronics items in two hours in the city areas. Customers can pay cash at their doorsteps," said Mohammad Rassel, chief executive officer (CEO) of Evaly.
The delivery activities of its other products remain as usual, he said.
Meena Bazar, a popular super shop, maintains a good position among digital shopping platforms as well.
Shaheen Khan, CEO of Meena Bazar, told The Business Standard that they are offering free home delivery service to ensure social distancing during the lockdown.
"We have already given our contact number on our Facebook page so that customers can place orders over the phone for daily essentials," he added.
Apart from this, its shopping outlets will remain open as per the government's instructed time schedule, he added.
Shaheen Khan said, "In shopping outlets, we will not accommodate more than 30 customers at a time to ensure distancing."
The E-commerce Association of Bangladesh (eCAB), a national body of digital shopping companies, has also taken a bunch of initiatives keeping the week-long lockdown in view.
Abdul Wahed Tomal, general secretary of the association, said that they have instructed all of their members to ensure the best and safe delivery of services to customers.
Earlier, the association wrote to the Ministry of Commerce and the Cabinet Division asking for directives to suggest people shop from e-commerce, F-commerce, and other digital shopping platforms to curb the infection.
The association is also going to take a free food supply to low-income families across the country under the "Manob Seva" programme.
The platform will set a network among the people who are willing to donate food and used to donate food individually, said Asif Ahnaf, director (Corporate Affairs) at the e-Cab.
The programme has initially targeted 20,000 families to serve the food during the lockdown, he added.