Bangladesh has witnessed phenomenal growth in the last few years. Driven by an afflatus sourced from "Digital Bangladesh' vision, Bangladesh has been taking great strides in different sectors.
Riding on the digital transformation underway in the country, Bangladesh has registered significant growth in the digital sphere. Especially, after the pandemic, the country's reliance on digitization and digital services has expedited growth in the digital ecosystem.
One very vital part of this ecosystem is the e-commerce sector, which has contributed significantly for the development and growth of digital ecosystem in the country. Daraz, as the country's largest online marketplace, has contributed in multi-faceted ways to ensure development of digital ecosystem and catalyze growth in the e-commerce industry riding on the power of technology and innovative business models.
There is no denying that our digital ecosystem has expanded, thanks to the ever-evolving e-commerce scene of the country. Especially after the pandemic, more and more customers are leaning towards digital space, which has helped shape up the e-commerce industry in a revitalized way. According to a report by Bangladesh Bank, daily transactions of the e-commerce sector of Bangladesh is increasing every month. In June 2020, the transaction amount was Tk491.4 crore, whereas the amount was Tk640.4 crore in July 2020.
Moreover, e-commerce sector is contributing a lot economically, which is playing vital roles in accelerating digital transformation. In the next few years, e-commerce sector will grow bigger, which will help decide the fate of digital ecosystem in a positive way. According to Statista, the total value of the e-commerce market in Bangladesh will increase to USD 2,077 million this year and by 2023, the market size will reach USD 3,077 million. Daraz has been instrumental and will remain so in this growth momentum as they are catering the highest number of online customers.
Not only digital ecosystem, Daraz as the market leader has been helping the whole e-commerce sector to thrive. Different technological innovations and their business models are paying off duly.
As people's shopping habits and overall nature have experienced dramatic changes in the last few months after the pandemic hit the world, it was very important that the e-commerce industry stepped up its efforts to address the changed realities. Daraz, with its cutting-edge technology and innovations, has revolutionized the whole experience of online shopping. Integrative approach along with other stakeholders such as payment services, delivery partners and business entities has created new dimensions in the digital ecosystem and redefined the e-commerce sector.
Moreover, Daraz has enabled many in the whole digital ecosystem incorporating different innovative strategies such as Business-to-Business (B2B) and Business-to-Consumers (B2C) models making the right use of technological amenities. More than 40,000 sellers are connected with Daraz, who are doing business in direct collaboration with this online marketplace. In a sense, Daraz has empowered all these businesses and provided them an outlet for selling their products to the consumers directly. From another point of view, Daraz is acting as a facilitator between the sellers and the consumers (B2C). Millions of customers are ordering products online through Daraz and getting their desired products delivered at their doorsteps. Even a few years ago, delivery ecosystem was underdeveloped in our country. But, with the growth of e-commerce sites like Daraz, many other delivery services have come into being, which has been helpful for the growth of digital ecosystem. Even at Daraz, we have built our own logistics company specifically designed for e-commerce operations - Daraz Express (known as DEX) – to ensure uninterrupted delivery.
In the meantime, incorporation of technological innovations has opened up doors of possibilities and convenience for the customers. For instance – a few days ago, Daraz has brought in a new amenity called 'in-app shoppable livestream' for its consumers so that they can purchase products only after exploring products on video-live on its app. This will revolutionize the shopping experience of the shopaholics.
In this regard, different exciting campaigns are also very fruitful and can add flavors to the consumers' online shopping experience. A very-delicately planned campaign can not only yield good results for the businesses, but also benefit the customers. And very naturally, the more the number of customers, the more is the possibility of further growth of this sector.
Daraz's biggest campaign 11:11 sale is an exemplary initiative. This is the biggest one-day sale campaign in the world and it's more impactful than Black Friday in terms of value and customers' engagement. A campaign of this stature creates endless opportunities for online customers to get their desired products at competitive prices availing of lots of lucrative deals and offers. Such campaign not only placates the minds of shoppers, but also leaves a snowball effect on the whole digital ecosystem. This year also, Daraz is gearing up to host 11:11 campaign. It will be an exhilarating experience for the customers as they can get whatever they want and at the same time avail of different offers. There will be11 Taka Deals, Mystery box, Flash sale, voucher and Free shipping to make this journey all the more rewarding. Such mega campaigns have global impacts as well. When global investors will see the growth and huge engagement of our consumers, it will attract more Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) which will be very welcoming for our whole e-commerce industry.
Bangladesh is moving forward at good pace and the next few years are important for the whole country as well as our digital ecosystem. And it goes without saying that our meteoric growth in the e-commerce sector will determine the growth trajectory of our digital ecosystem. Daraz will keep doing its bit to ensure and accelerate this growth.
The writer is managing director of Daraz Bangladesh Limited