FT Online

2019-05-07 15:01:47 BdST

Boom in e-shopping ahead of Eid

Online shopping has started gaining momentum ahead of Eid-ul-Fitr amid its growing popularity with the boom in internet penetration across the country.

An increasing number of people, mostly city dwellers, choose e-shopping to save time as well as avoid traffic chaos and other hazards in the busy city life.

Like regular shopping malls and other shopping places, online shops also offer discount and other facilities to attract buyers ahead of the biggest religious festival of Muslims.

E-shopping started gaining pace particularly after Shab-e Barat and its upward trend will continue till 15th Ramadan, said insiders.

A two-day e-commerce fair will be held at the capital’s Gulistan on May 17-18 to promote online shopping ahead of Eid-ul Fitr.

Bangladesh Post Office and e-Commerce Association of Bangladesh (e-CAB) are organising a series of fairs to promote online shopping.

Sifat Ara, owner of Women's Fashion BD, who runs online business through Facebook from the city’s Shewrapara area, said their sales started going up after Shab-e-Barat.

“We used to get 15 delivery orders on average a day before Shab-e Barat, but now we’re getting 25-30 delivery orders every day,” she said.

Sifat expressed the hope that the upward trend in their sale will continue till 15th Ramadan.

She said her online shop gets orders from even outside Dhaka.

Abdul Wahed Tomal, General Secretary of e-Commerce Association of Bangladesh (e-CAB), said e-shopping has been witnessing an upward trend for the last two weeks. “The average number of e-shopping deliveries was 25,000 every day before the last two weeks, but now it has reached 35,000-40,000 ahead of Eid-ul Fitr,” he said, adding that different e-shops now offer discount and other facilities to attract more consumers.

Tomal said e-shopping marked 30 percent growth this year as the number of social media users, particularly mobile Facebook, has also sharply increased in both urban and rural areas.

He said the number of e-shopping delivery orders was nearly 20,000 a day last year, which is now more than 25,000. “The yearly turnover of the country’s online shopping is Tk 800 crore-Tk 1,000 crore,” said the general secretary of e-CAB, an association of more than 900 e-shops.

He said the e-CAB and the Bangladesh Post Office will jointly organise an e-commerce fair on the GPO premises on May 17-18 next where leading e-commerce companies are scheduled to showcase their products and services.

The e-CAB and the Bangladesh Post Office started arranging a series of e-commerce fairs in divisional headquarters this year. The fairs were arranged in Chattogram on March 30, Rajshahi on April 6, Sylhet on April 13, Rangpur on April 27 and in Barishal on May 4. A similar fair will be held in Mymensingh on May 11.

Marjahan Akter, a service-holder living in Mirpur-13, said she purchases products online in some cases to avoid traffic congestion on the city’s streets and save time.

She, however, remains concerned over the quality of products in case of e-shopping.

The e-shopping is becoming more trustworthy as buyers can see reviews before buying any product from online.

In the last few years, online shopping and business gained much popularity thanks to the rise in social media users like Facebook.

There were some 9.3 crore internet users, including 8.7 crore mobile internet subscribers, in the country till March 2019, according to statistics provided by the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission.

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