E-Commerce in Bangladesh
Electronic commerce, commonly written as E-Commerce, is the trading or facilitation of trading in products or services using computer networks, such as the Internet. This paper contains a brief discussion on different perception of E-Commerce in Bangladesh; its background, types and main obstacles in Bangladesh’s aspect.This is the era of information and communication technology. The leading concern of electronic revolution in this 21st century is to establish and ensure a better, easy and comfortable way of management, communication and development with the use of information technology. E-commerce has become a buzzword of present information technology. It is the process of conducting all forms of business through computer network and digital communication. Increasing domestic and global competition, economic downturn, rapidly changing market trends, and volatile financial markets have all added to the pressure on organizations to come up with effective responses to survive and succeed. Furthermore, easing of international trade barriers, economic liberalization, globalization, and deregulation have led to several challenges for organizations in developing and newly industrializing economies like Bangladesh.
The special advantages of e-commerce like, Opportunity to operations, easy global reach, lower cost of acquiring, serving and retaining customers, easy to build an extended enterprise, improve customer service and de-intermediation tempt the world business community to adopt e-commerce. At present the people of our country are also accepting e-commerce for these advantages. E-Commerce started in Bangladesh since late 90s. gradually it gained the popularity here. The background of growing e-commerce in Bangladesh is given below.
Late 90s: E-Commerce started in Bangladesh in the late 90s. The earlier E-Commerce sites were actually gift sites targeted towards the Non-Residential-Bangladeshis (NRB) living in abroad. All the sites were based in abroad and had branches in Bangladesh.
Year 2000-2008: During this period of time, the E-Commerce sector observed slow growth. There were few E-Commerce websites but there was no system for online transaction which was the first condition for E-Commerce. In addition, high cost of Internet and low penetration meant that few people knew about these sites. According to Bangladesh Bank, payments and transactions by credit cards were nearly Tk11 billion in June 2008; one of the lowest in the world. The country had only about 400,000 credit card holders at the end of June 2009. From 2008, things started to look bright as Bangladesh Bank took various initiatives including implementation of e-Payment Gateway.
Year 2009: The real change came in 2009 when Bangladesh Bank allowed online payment in the country thus, officially opening up the E-Commerce sector. Another major incident of 2009 was introduction of WiMax internet in Bangladesh. It became quite popular in the country.
Year 2013: The year 2013 had been an important year in the history of E-Commerce in Bangladesh.First, Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS) and Bangladesh Bank jointly observed “E-Commerce Week” for the first time in the country.There was an e-commerce fair in Dhaka city. The slogan of the fair was- “Festival for buying and selling at your premise.” Following the first ever e-Commerce Fair at Dhaka, Computer Jagat arranged e-Commerce Fair at Sylhet, Chittagong, Barisal andLondonwith their partners and participants.Additionally, Bangladesh Bank gave permission to buy products and services online using international credit cards this year. Buying products and services from abroad using credit card is an important aspect of E-Commerce.
At present internet facilities are available in Bangladesh. Slowly, but steadily these facilities are holding a strong position in every aspect of our life. E-commerce is one of those sectors which need more attention if we want to be a part of global business.
Type of E-Commerce in Bangladesh:Currently, three types of E-Commerce are popular in Bangladesh. They are-
- Business-to-Business (B-2-B)
- Business-to-Consumer (B-2-C)
- Consumer-to-Consumer (C-2-C)
- Business-to-Business (B2B): Business-to-business e-commerce deals between the businesses or among the businesses. Most of B2B applications are used in the area of distribution management, inventory management, channel management, supplier management and payment management.
- Business to-Consumer(B2C):Business-to-Consumer ecommerce is involved between the businesses and the consumers. Most of B2C e-commerce deals with purchasing of physical goods like books or any consumer product, information goods like software, e-book, games, song etc., and personal finance management like e-banking.
- Consumer-to-Consumer (C2C): Consumer-to-Consumer e-commerce deals between individual consumers. Online auction and peer-to-peer system for money or file exchange could be the examples of C2C e-commerce. Business-to-Government e-commerce is involved between the business organizations and the government.
Main obstacles: Compared to other countries, Bangladesh is a late entrant in E-Commerce. Yet, this sector observed tremendous growth within a short time. E-Commerce can be the next major era of Economic development but there are some issues that need to be addressed. Lacks of reliable and active delivery channel, slow and interrupted internet service, piracy and so on. Some steps should take immediately to make e-commerce more adorable in Bangladesh. Otherwise, this sector would never reach its full potential.
- Developing delivery channel to the customers
- Affordable and un-interrupted internet all over the country
- Improving the online transaction system
- Online fraudulence
Bangladesh is pursuing an economic policy of export-led growth. With the rising forces of globalization, it is becoming increasingly important that the private sector, particularly the export sectors are well prepared to meet the requirements and expectations of the importers and also stand out in the competition against exporters in other countries.The Facsimile in the 1980’s and mobile telephones in the 1990’s popularized modern technology in the mass market. Personal computers and the Internet are also emerging as day-to-day business tools. Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of Information and Communication and Planning Commission jointly implementing the e-commerce in Bangladesh. These positive indicators are favoring the prospects of e-commerce in Bangladesh.
With the increasing diffusion of ICTs, more specifically the Internet, the global business community is rapidly moving towards Business-to-Business(B2B) e-commerce. Speed, efficiency, effectiveness, energy and other uniqueness of the technology made it as the fastest adopted and diffused technology until the 21st century.Despite being a poor country, selected segments of the Bangladeshi business community has embraced technology with reasonable success.