Protiva Mehar quit her corporate job in 2017 and opened up "Mehar's", an online-based beauty store.
She said being an entrepreneur suited her more. Her business has flourished over the years and in February she opened a shop in the city.
"With a lot of hope, I opened my store in February, and by March I had to shut it down because of the pandemic. But I still have to pay the rent and the workers' salaries. My workers' livelihoods depend on me, so I am working longer hours and harder than usual," she said.
Apart from selling its usual beauty products, Mehar's is also selling some household essential products on its Facebook page. The owner shared that customers are now less interested in buying beauty products and more in these household essentials.
Last week, her page was selling items such as squeeze bottles and piping bags which are needed to make the perfect 'jilapi' – one of the popular quarantine trends. According to the Mehar, she is trying to sell "the right products at the right time" in order to keep her business running.
The month of Ramadan is usually very busy for online businesses, but the current situation has changed the dynamics and even though some of the stores have physical branches, now they are only operating online since markets are closed.
Shipping of items is lagging behind schedule and at the moment, products cannot be delivered out of Dhaka.
Also, push selling or advertising for lucrative new products would probably not work well on customers. Customers are more likely to be inclined towards discounts and offers, which many brands are also offering.
A top online retail beauty store, Beautiv, is giving out different offers to its customers, including 5% discount on all products, free delivery and no COD (cash on delivery) fee.
The store specialises in selling high-end luxury brands such as Chanel, Elizabeth Arden, Clinique, and Mario Badescu.
One spokesperson from Beautiv told The Business Standard that luxury skin care products are still in demand, but the management does not yet have any special plans for Eid.
Stress, anxiety or a change in routine can cause dry skin or acne outbreaks for some people and it is understandable why customers are seeking particular beauty products now.
Inglot Bangladesh, a high-end cosmetics store, is offering 50-55% discounts on all of its products (a very good deal for those who love make-up and skin-care products).
1. Inglot Bangladesh: 50-55% discount on all of its products (Latest offer ended on May 3) -Free home delivery 2. Carnesia: -A flat 30% discount on all of its products sold online, till Eid 3. Beautiv: -5% discount on all products -Free delivery -No COD (cash on delivery) fee 4. Wearhouse: -A 10% discount on selected kurtis
From blushes to gel liners to bronzers, a huge array of products falls under these discounts. Their latest offer ended on May 3, but there is no harm in hoping that there would soon be other offers before Eid.
Known best for having a variety of cosmetics for regular use, Carnesia is a place that is also popular for its affordable price range.
It is giving a flat 30% discount on all of its products sold online, which include items by well established brands such as Neutrogena, The Body Shop and Garnier.
Wearhouse is one of the popular online fashion brands in Dhaka with a growing customer base who adore its unique designs.
Its owner Tasnim Ferdous said, "Given the current situation, we have not decided anything for Eid yet. However, we will post on our Facebook and Instagram page if we bring out a new collection. For now, we are offering a 10% discount on selected kurtis."
She also urged all Wearhouse fans and followers to stay home, stay safe and practice hygiene.
Although not an online shop, Le Reve Bangladesh has chosen to sell some of their clothing line through their website and online page.
A source told The Business Standard that with production, distribution and ultimately sales being problematic for the pandemic, they have no option but to sell their clothes online.
However, with the little plan that they have, they would bring out light-weight, floral and comfortable designs for a summer Eid. Customers can also avail a 15% coupon from the Le Reve website.