Online shopping jumped in April as people were not supposed to leave home without emergency amid a countrywide lockdown extended to 5 May.
E-commerce businesses expect it to rise further ahead of Eid even if the movement restriction is lifted because many people will feel safer to get products delivered to their homes for the fear of infection.
To tap into the sudden hyped demand, e-commerce sites and brands have been offering discounts for digital payments. A recent hike in digital payments indicates that more and more people are responding to such offers.
Syed Mohammad Kamal, country manager, Mastercard, said transactions in e-commerce in April were likely to be double that in the previous month.
According to the central bank's data, online sales picked up in the middle of 2020 against the backdrop of the first wave of the pandemic.
July 2020 logged Tk640 crore in transactions in e-commerce. The figure fell to Tk406 crore in September, which again climbed up to Tk663 crore in February this year.
Data for March and April is not available yet.
Anawar Hossain, managing partner of e-commerce site Kadambari Exclusive by Razbi, said he was hopeful of a further increase in online sales just before Eid in the throes of the second wave of the coronavirus even if shopping malls were open.
But delivering products outside Dhaka is a challenge as it takes four-five days.
Abdul Wahed Tomal, secretary of the e-Commerce Association of Bangladesh, said e-commerce had expanded over the last more than a year for Covid-19. Many new entrepreneurs have joined and learnt how to do business online.
The ventures will be able to use the experience to draw Eid customers, Tomal said, adding that the association was taking measures to solve problems tied to product delivery.
GrandeBoulevard is one of the sites that are offering discounts against digital payments. Customers enjoy a 10% discount for using EBL or Midland cards.
Clothing brand Le Reve has made an agreement with Standard Chartered bank that customers will get 25% cash back after each online payment.
Cash transactions are also discouraged by another e-commerce site JeansFellow. It promises its customers to give 10% cash back if they pay through mobile banking for online purchases.
There are also offers by mobile banking platforms bKash and Rocket, Dutch Bangla Bank and Mastercard.
Ahsan Ullah Chowdhury, head of Digital Financial Service of EBL, said card transactions were getting less and less because of the decline in tourism, restaurant business and foreign tours.
But transactions for online shopping rose.
Mobile financial services, such as bkash, Rocket and Nagad are playing a big role in digital payments.