Throughout a pandemic-laden year, the online marketplace of Bangladesh realised its true potential and soared higher than ever before in 2020.
According to data from Bangladesh Competition Commission, In eight months of the current year alone, products worth Tk1,66,616 crore were sold which is 26 percent higher compared to those during the entire year of 2019.
On the consumer end, the convenience of shopping online helped both buyers and sellers be it through the Facebook marketplace or local trading platforms like Daraz.
The growing transactions online not only contributed to the economy but helped to create new modes of employment.
While talking to The Business Standard in September, admin of Facebook-based digital e-commerce platform Chattogram E-commerce Family (CEF) Shagar Dey said the group currently had 57,000 members and around 10,000 of them were active.
"Nearly 7,000 entrepreneurs, including women who lost their jobs, began e-commerce businesses during the pandemic. They returned to the driving seats of their respective families after bouncing back as e-commerce entrepreneurs," said Shagar.
Especially platforms that retail everyday essentials experienced remarkable business growth during the pandemic year. Chaldal, one such platform for household goods, used to have 2,500 orders every day before March.
The volume of the daily orders multiplied to around 16,000 in April and May due to the nationwide shutdown put in place from March 26 to curb the spread of the deadly virus.
As of September, Chaldal on average received around 6,000 orders per day, which was 140% higher than that of February-March.
There are some 2,000 web-based and 50,000 Facebook-based retailers across the country. Traditional chain stores such as Meena Bazaar, Agora and Shwapno have shifted to and fortified their services online also.
Alongside them, many noted fashion houses and lifestyle items retailers focused on selling products online easing the hassle of consumers.