Consumers function as a significant driver of economic development for any country. With the advent of Covid-19 and the restrictions it imposed, overall consumption in the country had initially taken a despairing dive.
Before Covid-19 took a toll on the overall market momentum, consumers were mostly rather skeptical about online shopping and preferred to shop physically, to ensure quality. However, with the pandemic situation worsening by the day, people had no choice but to shift to online shopping.
Now, online shopping has become a general part of life, taking over the concept of physical shopping to some extent. People have now gotten used to the comfort of sitting at home and getting their products – be it clothes, gadgets, food etc., delivered to their doorsteps.
The e-commerce industry has offered consumers worldwide the ultimate comfort of shopping from anywhere, at any time. Now, to prepare for a sudden event, the hassle of spending hours shopping is saved by a few minutes of browsing and clicking. This kind of convenience is addictive, and it is gradually shifting the consumer preferences towards e-commerce.
Online shopping has become so popular that people nowadays have grown more reluctant to even go out for groceries, or eat at eateries. Restaurants now earn a significant portion of their revenue from online deliveries through apps, such as "HungryNaki".
Many sites nowadays provide a one-stop solution for all kinds of products, be it groceries, gadgets, clothes or baby foods. Daraz Bangladesh, as one such platform, has been providing the ultimate ease of finding everything in one place, attracting more consumers towards e-commerce, for the last seven years.
The pandemic, besides the boom in e-commerce, has put many families in financial difficulties, making them more conscious regarding their purchasing decisions. Hence, reliability has turned into a huge factor for consumers while choosing what to buy and where to buy from.
In addition to convenience, gaining consumer trust has become a major objective for the entities in the e-commerce industry. In this regard, platforms like Daraz have been prioritising consumer security through responding to all sorts of customer queries, stringent monitoring, providing repayment upon faulty/missing products, background checking of sellers, and much more.
A report from earlier this year suggests that Bangladesh is eyeing to generate more than $5 billion in Gross Merchandise Value (GMV), while serving at least 25% of the total population.
This proves that consumers are quite rapidly becoming more and more dependent on online commercial channels, giving rise to more and more e-commerce ventures.
With such a growing presence of the e-commerce industry, the overall transactions and consumption in the economy have risen significantly. With the increasing internet speed and 5G anticipated in the country, convenience of e-commerce has only been surging.
This has given rise to the overall industry employment, hence, can be given credit for the rising GDP of the country. On top of that, the rising availability of NFC (Near-field Communication) payments and mobile wallets is relieving consumers of the burden of carrying cash.
This accounts for added comfort for online shoppers, as the anxiety of losing cash or counting changes is much reduced. This adds more to the Bangladesh economy as a driver of growth, as well as a step towards going cashless in "Digital Bangladesh".
E-commerce platforms and mobile wallet companies are working simultaneously in creating more jobs in Bangladesh. Together with the increase in research and development is making the country progress faster in terms of innovation.
This shift towards a booming e-commerce industry can be seen as an anchor towards "Digital Bangladesh", where consumers can meet their needs with ultimate ease and comfort of their electronic devices.
Additionally, this boom will encourage many to grow ICT skills, with the aim of a career that reaps the benefits of an internet-dependent population. This will create more ICT professionals, leading the nation towards technological innovation.
Offers and campaigns like 11.11 always encourage e-commerce engagements among consumers, as being able to purchase quality products at reduced prices is always attractive to the avid shoppers.
As a result, convenience, reliability, and affordability are now causing the e-commerce industry to boom exponentially through leveraging the altering consumer behaviour due to the pandemic, which has the potential to simultaneously pivot a remarkable growth for the overall economy.
Md Tajdin Hassan is the Chief Marketing Officer of Daraz Bangladesh.